By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
The day started off as if it was going to be a slugfest between the Fort Gibson and Muskogee slowpitch softball teams on Tuesday.
One school lived up to the billing as the Lady Roughers took both games of the doubleheader from the Lady Tigers, 15-3 and 13-2, at Rougherettes Park.
“First game I thought we came out a little flat,” said MHS coach Keith Coleman. “But offensively we swung the bat really well. The top half of our lineup did an exceptional job.”
Shaylee Rowland, Muskogee’s leadoff hitter, was 6-for-6 with six runs scored and five RBIs. In game one, she had three singles and two RBIs while in the second game, she got the Lady Roughers, No. 7 in Class 6A and 12-5 on the season, going with a solo home run in the first to go with a double and a single and three RBIs.
Paige Gann, the No. 2 hitter, ended the day going 6-for-6 with four runs scored and six RBIs. Dee Emarthle, No. 3 in the lineup, was 3-for-6 with three runs scored and three RBIs while Jessi Venable, the clean-up hitter, was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored.
“We had a couple of kids that had two or three hits each in the two games,” Coleman said. “After Fort Gibson’s first inning, we settled down and started producing and scored enough runs to win.”
Fort Gibson (0-4) got the doubleheader started with three runs in the top of the first on an RBI-double by CheyAnne Johnson and run-scoring singles by Taylor Cosby and Isabelle Hubbert. Muskogee took control of the game with a 10-run outburst, highlighted by back-to-back two-run singles by Venable and Derra Walker, for a 10-3 lead after one inning.
“We’re starting five sophomores and four freshmen,” said Fort Gibson coach Jerry Walker. “We’re going to have some growing pains and it’s not going to be pretty but we’ll get better.”
The Lady Tigers would not score another run while the Lady Roughers closed out the scoring with five runs in the third to end the game on a run-rule.
Sparked by Rowland’s leadoff shot in game two, her 12th of the season, the Lady Roughers tacked on six runs in the second, highlighted by run-scoring singles from Carlee Gann, Bailee Hendrickson and Emarthle and a two-run double from Paige Gann and run-scoring doubles from Rowland and Jessi Venable, putting the Lady Roughers up 7-0.
The Lady Tigers would cut into the lead with bases-leaded walks by Kelsey Hornback and Johnson to make it a 7-2 game. Muskogee put the game away in the bottom of the third with six runs, ending the game with Paige Gann’s three-run home run, her fourth this season, to close out the scoring.
“They have a very young team and are just getting the season started,” Coleman said about his opposition. “This is their second day and Coach Walker goes a great job and they’ll get better as the season goes.”