By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
FORT GIBSON – Friday’s first game of their fastpitch softball season could not have worked out any better for the Fort Gibson Lady Tigers.
Madison Higley held the Vian Lady Wolverines (1-1) to two hits on the afternoon, leading Fort Gibson to a 12-0 run-rule win over Vian.
“It was a good first game for us,” said fort Gibson coach Jaime Snyder. “Vian’s always tough. (Vian coach Albis Ramos) does a great job with them and we knew that we needed to be ready.”
Higley finished the game with five strikeouts in her three innings of work and did not walk a batter. Allyson Hohrman singled with two outs in the first and Addison Elbon doubled with one out in the third to account for the Lady Wolverines’ only two hits.
“I don’t thing I was all the way warmed up to start the game,” Higley said. “It took me a while to catch on.”
After Higley retired Elbon on a pop-up to third to start the game, Erica Casey fouled out to Fort Gibson catcher Mackenzie Williams for the second out. Vian pitcher Jaden Bolin (1-1) was then hit by the first pitch she saw which was followed by Hohrman’s single. Higley settled down to strike out Kaylee Hughes to end the inning.
Williams led off the bottom of the first with a sharp single to left but was put out on a fielder’s choice by Emilee Rigsby. Brea Jordan then stepped up and sent a sinking liner to left that Kiley Troutman misplayed, allowing Rigsby to come home with the first run of the game.
When Jordan moved to third on a wild pitch, Lauren Diebold brought her home on a sacrifice fly to center to put the Lady Tigers up 2-0.
“We didn’t show up to play today,” Ramos said. “I don’t know if we were a little intimidated or what. We weren’t aggressive on the field. We didn’t put any pressure on their defense.
“(Higley) is a good pitcher and they’ve got a good team. But we’ve got to put more pressure on them.”
After Higley mowed down the side in order in the top of the second, the Lady Tigers sent nine batters to the plate and put up four runs in the bottom of the inning to grab a 6-0 lead. Rigsby drove in the first run on a bases-loaded walk while Higley scored the second on a throwing error. Rigsby and Brea Jordan tallied runs three and four on a single by Miranda Cherry.
After Vian left Elbon stranded at third with one out in the top of the third, Fort Gibson sent 10 batters to the plate and put six runs on the scoreboard to end the game. Williams had the big blow of the inning, a two-run single that scored Kelsey Hornback and Higley. Hornback ended the game with a double to bring home Jordan.
“It helps our team’s confidence when we score a lot,” Higley said. “It shows we have each other’s back and are scoring runs for them.”
Fort Gibson hosts the Fort Gibson Festival today, playing Muldrow at 10 a.m., Roland at 4 p.m. and Sallisaw at 5:30 p.m. Vian is at the Stilwell Festival, also today. Vian plays Keys at 10 a.m. and Wilburton at 11:30 a.m.