, Muskogee, OK

May 2, 2013

PREP SLOWPITCH 5A STATE: Sequoyah denied repeat by new champs

By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer

— OKLAHOMA CITY – There was no repeat slowpitch championship for Sequoyah.

The 2012 Class 5A champions overcame an early four-run deficit to tie the score, only to watch as the Cache Bulldogs, No. 5 in the poll, scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to eliminate the No. 8 Lady Indians 6-5 at ASA Hall of Fame Complex on Wednesday.

“We’re you’re at in state, you’re one of the top eight teams and you gotta produce,” said Sequoyah coach Larry Shade. “If you let the other team get a few more runs than you, it puts a little more pressure on yourself at the bat and on defense. I credit Cache. They hit the ball early and took advantage of our errors.”

The Bulldogs, which went on to win state with a 13-1 win over Henryetta and finished 29-7, opened the scoring with three runs in the home half of the first inning, one on a double play and two on error by Sequoyah shortstop Kelsey Leach, to put Cache up 3-0.

The Lady Indians (14-11) cut the deficit to 3-1 in the top of the second when Megan Towie came home on Jakkie Wright’s fielder’s choice. The two-run deficit didn’t last long as Cache scored twice in the bottom of the frame on a bases loaded walk to Nikki Horton and a sacrifice fly by Alyssa Eschiti to make the score 5-1.

But back came Sequoyah with three runs in the third. Taylor Owl got things rolling with a leadoff single and came home on a flyout by Kara Linch for the first run of the inning. Feather Pacheco and Leach scored runs two and three on a double by Mariah Hooper, making the score 5-4.

“While the scoreboard showed the score at 6-4, we knew it was 5-4 and we were only down a run,” Shade said. “I just think the pressure they put on themselves was a lot.”

Both teams had opportunities to add runs to their totals over the next three innings but it would be Sequoyah that broke through in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. Wright led off with a single, moved to third on a single and came home on an error by Cache first baseman Randi Hamilton.

The Lady Indians’ euphoria was short lived as the first three batters for Cache reached safely, with Lauren Mason scoring the game-winning run on a single by Torey Hamilton.

“It’s hard to walk out of here early,” Shade said. “Last year, we came here not knowing to expect and we gained a lot. This year, we expected a lot and we proved ourselves through the year.

“We played a rough schedule. We played a lot of 6A teams and a lot of those 6A team’s are in this tournament. I knew we weren’t as strong as last year but I knew the heart was there.”