, Muskogee, OK

April 22, 2014

Haskell takes advantage of Fort Gibson mistakes for win

By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer

— FORT GIBSON – The Haskell Lady Haymakers did something at Fort Gibson that opponents of the Lady Tigers have been doing most of the season.

The Lady Haymakers capitalized on four Lady Tigers’ errors to run-rule Fort Gibson 8-0 on Monday.

“You extend the innings and good hitters get extra swings, it is trouble,” said Fort Gibson coach Jerry Walker. “Right now we’re not hitting the ball very well. We had four foul outs and can’t hit the ball out of the infield.”

The game was an adjustment to both schools schedules as Fort Gibson (7-9) was supposed to host Locust Grove and Haskell (13-10) was headed to Eufaula.

Locust Grove thought it was supposed to host the game and canceled because of the early morning rain as did Eufaula, so Walker called Haskell coach Kyle Ward and the two agreed to play.

“We wanted to play before our districts on Friday (vs. Stroud at 10 a.m. in Stratford),” Ward said. “This was our last date to play and it was a good draw for us.”

Haskell started the game with a run in the top of the first when leadoff hitter Denora Wheeland hit the second pitch of the game to the fence in right center. By the time the Lady Tigers got the ball back into the infield, Wheeland had crossed for an inside-the-park home run, making the score 1-0.

“I didn’t think I was going to do that,” Wheeland said.

Fort Gibson had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the second when Kyla Martin singled up the middle and Isabelle Hubbert walked. However, Cheyenne Benn induced back-to-back foul outs to end the threat.

In the top of the third, the first two FGHS errors led to two Haskell runs. With one out, Haley King sent a grounder to third that Toni Rowland threw over Lady Tigers’ first baseman Sydney Murray, allowing King to advance to second.

Wheeland followed that with a single to center and two batters later, Savanna Hallum brought King home with the first run and when Kelsey Hornback misplayed the ball in left for error No. 2, Wheeland, who finished the game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one run batted on, raced home to make the score 3-0.

“That’s what we’re supposed to do it capitalize on their mistakes,” Wheeland said.

The Lady Haymakers added to its lead with four runs in the third, three of which were unearned as the result of the final two Fort Gibson errors, making the score 7-0.

The Lady Haymakers had the opportunity to end the game in five innings, after Wheeland reached second with one out, but did push home the eighth run in the sixth when Benn brought home Nikkie Young on a single with the bases loaded.

“This team’s built on speed,” Ward said. “We don’t have much power so we just try to take bases and try to score when we can. Defense is our specialty.”

Joanna VanBrunt led the Lady Haymakers going 3-for-3 while Young scored two runs. Miranda Cherry and Kyla Martin had the only two hits for the Lady Tigers.

“(Haskell) hit the ball good all day,” Walker said. “We can’t hit the ball out of the infield when we need to. We can’t move runners. You name it and we’re not doing it.”