Hilldale’s fastpitch season ended Thursday in a 4-2 loss to Skiatook in the semifinal round of the Class 4A regional at Bristow.
And with it, something that has become a habit for the Lady Hornets, a state appearance streak that ends at nine seasons.
“It’s not something we’re used to. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s not something you take for granted,” Hilldale coach Darren Riddle said. “It’s not like you wake up and say let’s head to state. It’s disappointing for those who follow us but it’s even more so for those of us, players and coaches, who put in the work.”
Down 3-0 in the sixth, Landrie Sloan’s sacrifice fly scored Sydney Sapulpa from third. Sapulpa reached on an error and moved to second on Bailey McLain’s single. Lexi Cramp then singled home McLain. Ellis singled, moving Cramp into scoring position, but Kinsley Allen’s pop fly ended the inning.
Up to that point, Riley Barnsokie’s leadoff single to start the game and Sloan’s two-out single in the fifth were Hilldale’s only hits off Jadyn Whinery.
Skiatook got one run back when Ryleigh Lynn drew a bases-loaded walk off Brooklyn Ellis.
Whinery’s single in the third and Abby Carruthers’ two-run double in the fourth both came with two outs.
Hilldale finishes 19-12 and lost eight of its last 11.
“Defensively, to plug in as many spots as we did from losing all the kids we graduated last year, I was pleased, and our pitchers gave us a chance to win every game,” Riddle said. “We have to be better at creating our own offensive opportunities and for whatever reason we just didn’t get that done the last couple weeks.”
All but one lineup regular, Barnoskie, will return.
The Lady Hornets don’t play slowpitch in the spring, but including that makes this the second consecutive softball season that no area team made state.
“When I coached baseball and we made it in 2004, I remember saying then you don’t take these things for granted,” Riddle said. “We got back the nest year and then it was a few years before we did it again but eight more from that point that we won it. So to go nine says something about everyone that’s been a part of it and the effort to accomplish it.”
Skiatook went on to lose to Bristow in the championship round.