Muskogee coach Mark Dicus was hoping for a better start Wednesday in the Class 6A regional rematch with Sand Springs.

He got a sputter, but the engine quickly stalled.

Sand Springs spotted Muskogee a lead, but then plated three runs in its first at-bat and went on to oust MHS 6-1.

“It started much the same, and we had opportunities but couldn’t take advantage,” said Dicus.

Avery Ragsdale’s two-out infield single plated Karsyn York, who reached on a double, to take a 1-0 lead.

It would be short-lived, and just like in Tuesday’s 8-5 loss, it was an array of miscues that led to a big first at-bat for the Lady Sandites.

In the bottom of the inning, Jaliyah Simmons hit the lead-off batter, then an infield error by Shay Grissom at second and a walk loaded the bases for Lauren Hammock, who laced a double to left to clear the bases.

And just like Tuesday, it seemed that might be the only damage. But unlike Tuesday, Muskogee couldn’t mount a surge of its own.

The Roughers loaded the bases in the third. York singled, Kambri Johnson walked and Feather Johnson was hit by a pitch, but Grissom’s fly ball to left ended that threat. 

In the fifth, York and Kambri Johnson had back-to-back singles with one out but Ragsdale grounded into a fielder’s choice and Feather Johnson’s  infield flyout ended that threat.

The gap would then widen. Morgan Rector doubled in two runs in the sixth and scored on a passed ball. 

In the seventh, Simmons reached on a bunt single, but York grounded into a double play. Kambri Johnson extended the game with a double to right but Ragsdale’s groundout ended the game — and Muskogee’s first winning season since 2015, at 20-18.

“I know the kids want it, I know the parents want that and definitely the coaches want it, so hopefully we can keep this going,” Dicus said. “There’s a good nucleus there we can build to, but it’s frustrating when one season ends.”

York and Ragsdale are the lone seniors.  York was 3-for-4. Kambri Johnson and Jaye Barnoski had two hits each.

Muskogee outhit Sand Springs 9-6. The Lady Sandites went on to lose 11-1 to Owasso in the first game of the championship round. Former Muskogee coach Don Yates is on Owasso's staff.

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