MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

October 18, 2013

STATE SOFTBALL: OU signee handcuffs Lady Roughers in 6A quarterfinal; Hilldale, Tahlequah advance; Fort Gibson out

SHAWNEE – There’s a reason Jayden Chestnut has orally committed to Oklahoma’s powerhouse softball program. Muskogee learned firsthand Thursday that the Mustangs’ junior is perhaps the state’s best pitcher.

Chestnut struck out 14 batters – seven straight in one stretch – and limited the Roughers to one hit, leading Mustang to a 4-0 win during the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state fastpitch tournament at The Ball Fields at Firelake.

Mustang advanced to Friday’s semifinals against Moore, while Muskogee ended what was arguably its best season ever at 31-9 despite allowing no earned runs.

“We knew how good she was,” Muskogee coach Keith Coleman said of Chestnut. “She totally dominated us from the beginning to the end. She really didn’t give us any chances. It was a great job by her. Hats off – she’s tough and she did a great job.”

Chestnut continually confounded Muskogee batters, allowing only three baserunners and only one of them past second base.

The Roughers’ only serious threat came in the fourth inning. With one out, Shaylee Rowland recorded the only hit for Muskogee, a double into the gap in left centerfield. Alexis Watson followed with a walk, but Chestnut fanned Dee Emarthle and Carlee Gann to end the inning.

Chestnut struck out the side in the fifth and fanned the first two batters of the sixth before retiring Rowland on a hard-hit grounder to first base. All told, Chestnut retired Muskogee’s final 11 batters.

Rowland pitched well enough for the Roughers, going the distance and scattering seven hits, with two walks and one strikeout. But Muskogee didn’t do itself any favors with its defense, committing seven errors – three each in the fourth and sixth innings, allowing the Broncos to score all their runs.

Ashley Martin’s RBI single up the middle in the fourth put Mustang ahead 1-0 and four batters later, Katelyn Fischer hit a two-run single to left centerfield to make it 3-0. Hailee Milburn walked and came around on two errors in the sixth inning for Mustangs’ final run.

“It was the best season we’ve had in Muskogee history,” Rowland said. “I’m proud of the girls. I couldn’t have asked for a better season.”

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