It took a long road to get here.
After traveling 764 miles over the holiday weekend to play 4 innings that led to a summoning to Noah to prepare an ark while players all around scampered for a storm shelter, Muskogee was back home. Sapulpa liked being here too, so much so that they sacrificed a return home game and make it a district doubleheader at Roughers Park on Tuesday.
The better time was had by the hosts.
Aided by six-run seventh-inning rally in game two playing as the visitors, Muskogee held on for a doubleheader sweep, 9-2 and 10-8 in District 6A-3 action.
Isyss Patton single back at the circle resulted in a errant throw to first, allowing Katlyn Clark, who singled to begin the inning, to score. Then Jordan Simmons drilled a ball through the middle into center, scoring both Hannah Cawthon, on with a walk, and Patton.
Karsyn York, who was 3-for-3 in the contest, then brought Simmons home on a single, making it 8-5. Clark’s two-run, bases-loaded single finished it off, scoring York and Haidyn Henry, who was hit by a pitch.
At 10-5 it seemed safe, but Sierra Hughes’ three-run home run off Meadow Million in the bottom of the seventh got the Chieftains (4-11, 1-6) close. After Takyah Jamerson reached on an error by Haidyn Henry at first, Million retired consecutive tying runs on a ground out and pop out to escape.
“I was stressing out, but I had confidence in my team that somehow we would get those outs,” Million said. “This is one I’ll remember. There hasn’t been a game we’ve been this pumped.”
The Roughers (4-5, 4-3) might have gotten a little energy from a overturned call at third a few innings earlier that drew some ire from Muskogee coach Don Yates. It wind up not hurting them, but anything for energy.
“Sometimes we’re waiting to make an adjustment at the plate. We talk about it and don’t do it and here we did it and we start hitting and making things happen,” Yates said. “I told them y’all are going to kill me. Once we know the adjustments, lets make them and not wait so long.”
It was a little easier in game one.
Shania Henry and D’Asia Brown, the 4-5 hitters in the lineup, had two hits each. Henry scored three times in a 2-for-3 performance and Brown was 2-for-2 with a walk and reaching after being hit by a pitch in the sixth.
Six different batters — Brown, Simmons, York, Haidyn Henry, Million and Cawthon — each drove in runs. Cawthon and Simmons each doubled one in and York tripled home Simmons just after the latter’s blast. Both punished Sapulpa’s Morgan DeGraffenried with line shots into a glaring sun that froze the left fielder in her tracks.
Million was steady in the circle, scattering eight hits. She walked none and struck out five. She retired nine of the first 10 batters she faced before a triple by Hughes and single by Caitlyn Looney pushed across two runs in the fourth. Only one other time did she have more than one baserunner, and that included a second by way of an infield error.
In game two and playing as the visiting team due to the doubleheader deal, Muskogee jumped out to a 3-0 lead, scoring two of those on wild pitches — just as it did in game one. York singled in a run as well.
The Roughers lost all of it in the bottom of the second. Freedom Hicks doubled in a pair with a shot to left, and was out trying to stretch into a triple, just after Kylissa Williams singled in the first run.
Cawthon’s sacrifice fly gave MHS a momentarily lead in the third but a Hughes sacrifice fly tied it in the bottom of the inning. Hailey Dye reached on an error in the fourth and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
Then came the seventh.
“I’d like to avoid those,” said a relieved Yates.
Muskogee gets Jenks at home Thursday.