Lady ‘Cats win slugfest with YHS

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Makenna Johnson reaches to make the tag on Southmoore’s Alicia Ahmed as she races to third after being caught in a rundown. Ahmed avoided the tag and Southmoore handed the Millerettes a 15-11 loss Wednesday in a District 6A-2 game at Yukon. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor
Yukon scored the runs they needed to pull off a win and secure the third place spot in the disrict 6A-2 race.
Southmoore just happened to score more.
Southmoore scored five times in the top of the eighth inning win a slugfest with the Millerettes 15-11 Wednesday afternoon at the Millerette Softball Complex.
The Millerettes would have sealed the third place spot with a win, but will now need to beat Norman on Tuesday in the final district game for both teams. YHS enters the game with a 9-4 district record, while Norman is 8-5. YHS did beat Norman 6-2 in their first meeting earlier in the year.
Yukon, after leading twice in the game, saw Southmoore rally to take a 10-8 lead in the top of the seventh. Ashlyn Bruce’s two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh tied the game and sent the contest to extra innings.
“We hit the ball well and scored a lot of runs, we beat ourselves defensively,” Millerette head coach Katy Hoke said. “We had a couple of errors that led to runs for them and we also missed an opportunity to score with the bases loaded. Unfortunately, hitting into a doubleplay with the bases loaded hurts, but she did come up big and hit a two-run home run that sent us into extra innings.
“This was a disheartening loss and we talked to the girls about beating themselves,” she said. “About how we have to come defensively and play a cleaner game. Each one of those defensive errors resulted in runs scored. Our pitchers did miss some pitches, but they throw a lot of pitches during a ball game and they are going to miss some, but your job is to get the outs when we are able to so we don’t have runners on when they miss those pitches. Those were some routine, fundamental plays that we made mistakes on that put runners on base if not in scoring position.
“I thought Kaylee (Bradley) was throwing a great ball game, but we have to play defense behind her. You have to help her out when you can and that is where we struggled. We have to mentally make that transition and play defense.”
The contest saw 34 hits combined. Southmoore had 18 hits and YHS 16.
Down 10-8 in the bottom of the seventh, Bruce came to the plate with two out and a runner on base,. Kaylee Witte had singled to lead off the inning. Bruce on a 3-1 pitch drilled a fastball over the left field wall to tie the game and sent the contest to extra innings.
Southmoore broke the tie in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single by Presley Main, 11-10. The single opened a Lady Sabercat flood gate that led to five runs.
The Lady ‘Cats had three more RBI hits that led to four runs and a 15-10 lead.
The Millerettes did try to rally in the bottom of the inning after a solo home run by Jordan Schlarb. But, the rally ended there as Southmoore got the next two batters outs.
Yukon did take a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly from Witte and an RBI single from Hannah Hurtz. Brooke Mathers singled and with one out, Witte’s fly ball drove in the first run of the game. After a single by Kyla Thompson, Hurtz singled to drive in the second run of the game.
Southmoore cut the lead to 2-1 in the third inning and used a pair of RBI singles to take a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Rayburn’s three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning keyed a six-run rally that gave the Millerettes an 8-3 lead.
Hurtz had singled in the tying run after Taylor McMahon had singled and Thompson walked with one out. Rayburn drilled her home run to centerfield to open a 7-3 lead.
Makenna Johnson followed with a solo home run that opened the five-run lead.
Southmoore answered with four runs in the top of the fifth inning keyed by a Millerette error and a two-run scoring double that cut the lead to 8-7.
The Lady Cats used an RBI single, a passed ball and a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning to take a 10-7 lead.
“We just beat ourselves,” Hoke said. “We had too many errors and it wasn’t by one person, it was by everyone. Southmoore is a good team and you can’t make those mistakes against a team like that.
“We did hit four home runs and seven of our runs were scored on those home runs,” she said. “We had good base running and we did offensively enough to win a ball game. You score 11 runs, you should win a game.
“We will take some of it on us. “We will look at whose in the line-up, the order of the line-up, whose out on defense. We will look at how we are practicing. We may have to adjust the things we are doing.
“I told the girls they have what it takes to play with anyone in the state.
“We were needing this game to solidify the third place spot for the regionals,” she said. “Now we have to go beat Norman on Tuesday to earn that spot. This is the game that counts. We were hopeful that we could pull this one to give our girls some added confidence going into that game.”