MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

October 11, 2013

Fort Gibson’s westbound as well

Lady Tigers sweep Class 4A regional

FORT GIBSON —  The second-ranked  Fort Gibson Lady Tigers did what their coach asked them to do, which was “to just take care of business” here Thursday in the Class 4A regional final.

It might’ve not been the most dominating of the Lady Tigers’ efforts which helped build their lofty ranking, but the job was done as they downed Muldrow 8-4, opting out of the “if necessary” game with the clincher.

Fort Gibson (31-5) moves on to next week’s 4A state tourney at the Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee.

“First of all I have to thank God for putting us in this situation.  I knew if we came in here and jumped on them that we could get it done in one game, and that was our goal,”  said a happy Fort Gibson coach Jamie Snyder.

Madison Higley, mirroring her team’s record in the pitcher’s circle, went the distance, giving up four hits. Eight of her nine strikeouts came in the first four innings, where only one Muldrow batter reached base, that courtesy of a walk.

That was enough for the bats to build a lead. Fort Gibson plated five runs in the bottom of the second. It  started with back-to-back walks to Miranda Cherry and Lauren Diebold.  Kelsey Hornback loaded the bases with a push bunt between the pitcher and third baseman,  A wild pitch brought Cherry in, then Sydney Murray picked up an RBI with a single, followed by a walk drawn by Brooke Benham to reload the bases.  Murray scored on an RBI single by Sage Stout.  

Fort Gibson catcher McKenzie Williams grounded to short for the first out of the inning but picked up the RBI.  Emily Rigsby reached on a fielder’s choice to short but was gunned down attempting to steal second and the throw back to the plate nailed Stout to end the Fort Gibson threat.In the top of the fifth inning, things got a little dicey for Higley and Fort Gibson.

Back to back triples off the bats of Arin Edwards and Emily Morgan got Muldrow on the board.  Morgan scored on a single by Riley Hughes and Muldrow had cut the lead to 5-2.  

“I wasn’t hitting my spots but my defense stepped up and we got those runs back,” said Higley.  

Her battery mate, Williams agreed with her assessment.

“Some of her pitches were up a little but she refocused and stayed with it,” she said.

Fort Gibson answered in the bottom of the fifth with three more runs.  Rigsby drew a one-out walk followed by a single by Brea Jordan. Both scored on a hit by Cherry that Muldrow’s left fielder, Mackenzie Chaser, could not hang on to.  Hornback scored Cherry on a base hit to center field.

Muldrow cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth inning when Edwards and Morgan picked up one out singles.  A bloop fly ball to right field, off the bat of Celia Buster bounced far enough away from Hornback to allow both runners to score and Buster to reach third.  A ground out to Higley, followed by  a walk and a ground out to shortstop ended the threat.  

Jordan and Hornback both finished the day going 2-for-3 with a run each and Hornback with an RBI, while Williams and Murray were 1-for-3 with an RBI each.

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