You could see the look of frustration on the face of Muskogee coach Don Yates
His Lady Roughers had rebounded from a four-run deficit to tie the game in the seventh but errors and missed opportunities would deny Muskogee as it fell to Shawnee 6-5 in eight innings in District 6A-3 action Monday at Rougher Park.
“If the girls get down after this loss, I’ll be really frustrated because we’re really close to being where we want to be,” said Yates. “If we just keep plugging, things will go our way as long as we keep playing.”
The first five innings was mostly a pitcher's duel between Muskogee’s Meadow Million, who gave up just one run on four hits, and the Lady Wolves' Stormee Reed, who also surrendered just one run on six hits.
Both teams had opportunities to take the lead. Shawnee had a runner on third with just one out in the second inning but a base-running mistake thwarted that effort.
In the Muskogee fifth, Hannah Cawthon and Isyss Patton singled with two outs. Jordan Simmons followed with a single to center, but Shawnee outfielder Hallie Wilson fired a rope to home easily nailing Cawthon trying to score on the play. Then came the seventh inning with the score still tied at 1-1.
A leadoff walk to the ninth-place hitter and a hit put two on base for the Lady Wolves.
Laynie Rimer laid down a sacrifice bunt towards Shania Henry but her throw to first sailed into the right field corner allowing two runs to score while Rimer reached third base. She came in to score on a double by Carly Torbett who in turn scored as the Lady Roughers mishandled a steal attempt at second base to make it a 5-1 Shawnee lead.
But the Lady Roughers came roaring back in the home half of the seventh. With one out, Million singled and Maya Gaulden went in as a courtesy runner. She moved to second as Feather Johnson walked against Annaca Anderson who relived Reed in the fifth inning.
A ground out moved the runners to second and third. Patton came through with a hit to score a run and Simmons two-run double pulled Muskogee within one at 5-4. Catcher Karsyn York delivered a two-out double to score Simmons and tie the game.
Alas the error bug bit Muskogee again in the top of the eighth inning. With one out, Tatum Sparks lifted a fly to right that Johnson got a glove on but couldn’t put away and Sparks ended up at third. After a walk to Rimer, Torbett delivered the go-ahead hit for the Lady Wolves.
However the Lady Roughers wouldn’t go down without a fight. With one out, D’Asia Brown walked and went to third on a hit by Million, but she ventured too far down the line and ended up being tagged out in rundown between third and home. Johnson came through with a hit keeping Muskogee’s hopes alive with runners at first and second, but Cawthon struck out to end the rally and the game.
“Our defense was good early but then we made some crucial mistakes late in the game and it cost us,” said Yates. “But we were swinging the bats well today. We got one of seniors (Gaulden) back from injury today and that will help us defensively in the outfield.
"So even though I’m frustrated I know we’re not that far off.”
Simmons led the way in hitting for Muskogee (2-4, 2-2), going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Patton and Million had two hits each.
Muskogee continues district play today as it travels to Sand Springs.