By Jimmy Stinson
Shaylee Rowland's fifth home run of the season – a three-run shot – helped Muskogee return to the winning side of the ledger Friday with an 11-8 victory against Stilwell.
It was her only hit in four at-bats.
"I was a little upset with myself cause I hadn't had a good hit all day and I missed that flyball in the outfield and I guess all my anger built up and it just came out on that ball," said a grinning Rowland after the game.
With the score tied 8-8, the Lady Indians retired Brooke Hendrickson and Kaitlyn Kaiser for two quick outs in the seventh inning. Hannah Alexander and Aubrey Johnson both singled to bring Rowland to the plate.
"I wasn't expecting to do that. I was just wanting a base hit to score the run,” added Rowland "It just happened that way.”
That way was a towering shot over the right field fence that left no doubt when it left her bat.
The Lady Roughers (4-2) started slow and did not hit well to start the game. Stilwell plated two runs in the top of the first inning off of Muskogee pitcher Morgan Taylor.
Muskogee answered with two runs in the bottom of the first. Alexander drew a walk and Johnson doubled and both scored on an error by Stilwell's shortstop on a hard ball hit by Dee Emarthle.
Stilwell added four in the second inning on four hits but Taylor kept them close the rest of the game. After the Lady Roughers put a run on the board in the bottom of the second, they plated four runs in the third inning to grab a 7-6 lead. Emarthle singled followed by a Paige Gann single and an RBI single by first baseman Jessi Venable. Nia Maxwell capped the inning with a towering three-run homer over the left field fence.
Stilwell tied the score with a run in fifth only to see Muskogee get the lead back in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice by Maxwell which plated Gann who had walked to get on base.
Stilwell re-tied the score at 8-8 in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for Rowland’s heroics.
"I knew they had four or five kids who are really good,” said Muskogee head coach Keith Coleman. "I told our kids that they could play and sure enough there one through five hole batters were good hitters. Offensively we have to get more consistent. You take away two three-run home runs and this is a different game."
Taylor, 4-2 in the circle, helped herself at the plate going 1-for-3 with a run scored. Venable was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Johnson 2-for-4 with a double and Maxwell finished 1-for-3 with four RBIs..
Muskogee returns to action next Thursday at home against Broken Arrow.