By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – Headed back to state.
Yukon had to wait two extra days, but the Millerettes earned the Regon III title and will make their way back to the class 6A State Softball Championships.
Yukon overcame a sluggish start after spotting Southmoore to a 3-0 lead, unleashing their bats for 10-runs in the third inning and rolling to a 16-4 run-rule win over the Lady Sabercats Friday aftermoon at the Millerette Softball Complex.
The Millerettes, 29-3-1, will face either Stillwater or Tulsa Union in the opening round in the state tournament that will start Thursday at the Oklahoma Softball Hall of Fame.
Southmoore scored a run in the first and two more in the second to open a 3-0 lead and gave the “Lady Cats a “false sense of security” that the team would force a second championship game.
All chances of that faded away in the bottom of the third as the Millerette offense came alive and led by a pair of two-run scoring doubles by Breley Webb, scored 10 times and opened a 10-3 lead.
“We just got off to a slow start,” Millerette head coach Heather Shanahan said. “Maybe because we played on, then off. But, hey, they never panicked and started rolling through. With the rain all week, we just didn’t get a momentum going and when we did. We hit the ball well and scored runs.
“It’s a great feeling to go back to state,” she said. “The girls have been there a few times, so it’s not their first rodeo and they will be ready to go. For our seniors, it is their third trip to the state tournament.”
The Millerettes had loaded the bases in the first inning and put two more on in the second, but couldn’t get any of the runners home.
But, that all changed in a hurry in the third inning. Webb brought the Millerettes within two runs with her first RBI double. Hannah Hurtz had singled and Chyenne Factor intentionally walked before Webb lined her double to the right centerfield gap.
Factor, the most feared of the Millerette hitters, was intentionally walked four times in the game and two of those times the bases were loaded. The Millerettes made Southmoore pay for that in two of the innings.
“She is an excellent hitter,” Shanahan said. “Breley did a good job behind her and in the game on Tuesday, Bre (Johnson) had the grand slam after they walked her. It was good that those girls stepped up behind her.
“It was a good day for our seniors as well,” she added. “We have a lot of seniors and this is their last game here.”
Factor made it a 3-2 game when she scored on a passed ball. After Johnson drew a walk, Ashlynn Bruce’s sacrifice fly sent home the tying run. Aleyah Holman singled in the go-ahead run and a walk to Rylee Uhr made it 5-3.
Hannah Hurtz’ two-run scoring double opened a 7-3 lead. Webb doubled in two more runs to make it 9-3 and Johnson’s sac fly opened a 10-3 lead.
The Millerettes turned the game into a rout in the bottom of the fourth inning, adding six more runs on the board. Three scored on wild pitches, Webb added a fourth RBI with a sac fly, Johnson doubled in a run and Flowers singled in the final run of the inning.
Webb and Hurtz went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Icenhower and Holman were 3-for-4. The Millerettes finished with 15 hits in the game.