CPHS Softball: Sandites win third-straight Regional Championship

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (23-7) is headed to the OSSAA 6A State Championship for the third-straight year after winning a 3-0 shutout against the Bixby Spartans (28-10) Friday afternoon in a home Regional Tournament.

The Lady Sandites started the tournament Tuesday with wins over Enid and Bixby. While the Sandites trounced Enid (4-26) 14-4, the Spartans rolled over Putnam City North (21-14) 15-5. After Sand Springs edged the Spartans out 3-1 on day one, Bixby had to wait through two days of rain delays before beating Putnam 13-9 in the consolation bracket to earn a rematch with the Sandites. It was a long and scoreless day before the Sandites finally got on the scoreboard with a home run from Sabrina Usher, but that was the only run they needed.

The State Tournament will be held at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City from October 12th through 14th. It is a single-elimination three-round tournament. Last year the Sandites fell 10-2 to Mustang in the first round, but in 2015 they made it to the Championship Finals before falling 4-3 to Choctaw. 

CPHS 14 Enid 4

In the win against Enid, the Sandites jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first with runs from Usher and Kimi Presnell. The Pacers scored one run in the top of the second but Elizabeth Luttrell hit a three-run homer in the same inning. Makenna Skaggs walked in on loaded bases for the 6-1 lead. 

Enid battled back with four-straight hits in the third to cut the deficit to 6-3, but Drew Hawkins and Luttrell added another pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Luttrell batted in Jacie Taber and Hawkins in the fourth, Enid scored their final run in the fifth, then Taber, Clemons, and Makenna and Kinsey Skaggs, pushed the lead to double-digits for a run-rule victory.

Madelyn Blair (6-3 season, 19-6 career) got the win on the mound with four strikeouts, one walk, and eight hits.

CPHS 3 Bixby 1

In the second round of Regionals, the Spartans scored their only run in the top of the second thanks to a rough start by Taber (16-2, 29-9). The junior Northern Iowa-commit walked four batters and gave up a free run before finding her mojo. She finished the game with eight walks, seven strikeouts, and only two hits. 

The Sandites trailed till the bottom of the fifth when Cameron Clemons scored on a hit from Presnell to tie the game. Taber scored the go-ahead runs with a homer to bring in Kinsey Skaggs in the sixth inning.

CPHS 3 Bixby 0

The Sandites congratulate Usher on a home run in the second game against Bixby.

Presnell started things off with a leadoff double but was caught stealing third and Makenna Skaggs struck out. Usher singled on a full count, Jensen Arnold walked, and Taber reached on an error to load the bases but they were left stranded as Horn went down swinging.

Taber walked the first batter then put out the second on a sacrifice bunt. Usher caught a pop fly for the second out, Taber walked another, then recorded her first strikeout of the afternoon to save the inning.

Meredith Iden struck out the side in the second inning and quickly brought her team in for another offensive. Taber gave up one hit in the bottom of the inning but caught a line drive and struck out one to end the inning.

Two-for-two, Presnell started the third inning with yet another leadoff double. This time she took third on a sacrifice bunt but was left stranded after the next two batters grounded out. The defensive battle continued with a strikeout and a pair of pop flys to end the third scoreless.

The Sandite pitcher started the the fourth with a single and courtesy runner Drew Hawkins took second on a bunt from Horn but was left stranded after Clemons hit a pop fly to second and Blair lined out to short. Iden was on the receiving end of a strikeout in the bottom of the inning. The next batter flied out to Skaggs then Presnell sent a ground ball to Luttrell on first to bring in the fifth.

With one out on the board, Presnell was swinging for the fence and bounced one off the wall in foul territory. Her next hit was a grounder to third for a put out at first and it came down to Skaggs to keep the drive alive. She went the way of Presnell, however, and the Spartans came in again.

Taber hit the first batter with the pitch, but the runner was picked off by Usher at first base. Blair fielded a ground ball for out number two but the Spartans hit a double to put the Sandites on their toes. Taber wasn't phased and casually tossed a ground ball to first for the third out.

Usher got the Sandites on the board with a solo homer to start the sixth and Arnold followed up with a line drive single into right field. Kinsey Skaggs took over on first but was left stranded as Bixby came in to try and even things up.

Taber struck out two and Makenna Skaggs caught out the third and it was down to the final stretch. Blair hit a leadoff single but courtesy runner Hawkins was put out on a fielder's choice. Presnell advanced Luttrell with a single, then Makenna Skaggs hit a single and all three runners advanced on the throw. Luttrell made it a two run game, then Usher hit a sacrifice fly to score Presnell. Skaggs narrowly beat the ball the third with a dive, but was left stranded on a fly out.

It was make or break for the Spartans who needed four runs for the win or three to force extra innings. Makenna Skaggs caught a fly ball for the first out and Taber struck out the next two to punch their ticket to Statesville.

The Sandite pitcher ended the game with three hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts.