Sandite Softball holds on for 5-2 playoff victory over Claremore

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By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (28-8) found themselves in the consolation bracket Thursday afternoon after a 9-7 loss to Stillwater (25-12) during the Regional Tournament. After beating Claremore (12-23) 8-0 in the first round of the tournament, the Sandites would need to beat them once more to get another shot at the Lady Pioneers. 

The Lady Zebras got on the board first with a run in the bottom of of the first, but the Sandites tied things up in the top of the second with a sacrifice by Kimi Presnell to score freshman Sabrina Usher.  

The first two Zebras to bat in the bottom of the second grounded out to Madelyn Blair at shortstop and Oklahoma State commit Sydney Pennington (6-0) got the strikeout to end the inning and bring in her team for another offensive. Freshman Felicity Horn reached on an error to start the third. Jessica Collins reached on a fielder's choice and Horn made second on an error. Pennington singled to load the bases, and Elizabeth Luttrell batted in Collins to make it 3-1.

Pennington had a hand in all three putouts in the top of the fourth, catching a line drive from Kayleigh Schumacher, fielding a bunt from Sam Johnson, and striking out Abbey Mayfield. The Sandites added another run in the bottom of the inning as Presnell singled and scored on a sacrifice bunt from Collins.

Pennington struck out two batters in the bottom of the fourth and Searra Collins grounded out to short. Jacie Taber hit a lead off double to start the fifth and scored on a single from Luttrell to make it 5-1. Luttrell was put out at second on a single from Usher, Presnell drew a walk, and Madelyn Blair singled to load the bases. All three runners were left stranded however. 

The game went into a dry spell from there with no runs till the bottom of the seventh as the Zebras staged a comeback attempt. Collins hit a lead off double, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on a single from Alexis Williams. Pennington got a strikeout against Whisenhunt, but gave up a single to Reagan Jordan. Madelyn Blair (11-2) relieved Pennington on the mound and loaded the bases after hitting Schumacher with the pitch. Sam Johnson hit a pop fly to Horn at third and Blair struck out Abbey Mayfield to win the game 5-2.

The Sandites will take a brief reprieve to reset the field and will play a rematch with Stillwater. The Pioneers only need to beat Sand Springs once more to win the Region, but the Sandites will need back-to-back wins for the title. It's not an unfamiliar position for Sand Springs who made the comeback last year with four-straight wins after a round one loss. They won the region and went on to take second in State.