By Nick Hampton
OKTAHA – The smile on Oktaha coach Kia Holmes’ face said it all. Revenge is sweet.
And that’s exactly what the Lady Tigers of Oktaha got as they avenged a loss last week to OSSAA Class B’s top ranked, and previously unbeaten, Red Oak Lady Eagles 6-1 in the championship game of the Oktaha tournament.
“To be honest with you, I think we’ve only beaten Red Oak (9-1) one time in the last five or six years, so yea it’s a big win for us,” said Holmes. “I’m so proud of our girls because we’re really working on selling the idea that success will come as a result of everyone doing their part and they saw that philosophy pay dividends today.”
The Lady Tigers (9-2) scored first in the second inning as Sierra Elam opened with a walk. She was sacrificed to second and scored on an RBI single by Kylee Wiedel.
Oktaha added an unearned run in the third after Callie Lynch laid down a bunt and the throw to first got by second baseman Shay Paul who was covering. The next Oktaha batter, Taylor Pevehouse, clubbed a double into the gap to drive in Lynch and made the score 2-0.
Caitlin Sikes, who started in the circle for the first time this season for Oktaha, gave up just one hit in two innings of work before giving way to Kelsey Cantwell, a move that Holmes had planned ahead of time.
“I’ve got four pitchers this year and each has their strength,” said Holmes. “I’ll probably watch them all warm up before a game and make a decision then who will start. And there may be games where three or all four of them may see action. I told Caitlyn today that I just want you to get through their lineup once and she did her job.”
Together, the Lady Tiger pitchers limited Red Oak to just four hits in the game.
The Lady Tigers, ranked No. 16 in the OSSAA rankings in Class 3A, took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning when they broke things open. Pevehouse led off with a double and scored after the throw to first on a sacrifice bunt by Cantwell sailed into right field. Two batters later with runners at the corners for Oktaha, Sikes delivered an RBI double to score one run. That was followed by a two RBI single by Wiedel to produce the final 6-1 margin.
Pevehouse, who pitched and limited Heavener to just two hits in a 4-0 semifinal win earlier in the day, was the hitting heroine for the Lady Tigers in the title game going 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.
“Well it’s always nice to beat Red Oak because they’re such a rival of ours,” said the senior third baseman. “Basically I try to hit the first pitch because I don’t have time to think and I do better if I just get up there and don’t over-think things.”
In addition to Pevehouse, Wiedle was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Wiedle’s sister, Cody, helped lead the way for the Lady Tigers in their semifinal win with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Another Lady Eagles team, this one from Warner, lost an 8-4 decision to Red Oak in the other semifinal of the day.
“We gave eight runs in the first inning,” said Warner coach Dusty Tidwell. “We didn’t throw many strikes and they got a couple of big hits. We got it back to 8-4 and had runners in scoring position with the heart of our order up when time ran out on us.”
All games except that championship game had a one-hour time limit in place.