Battling back from a first-round thumping against this same team, earlier in the day, Gore found itself nine outs from a state tournament berth Saturday, up 7-4 against Wister.
Then came a 13-run explosion in a fateful fifth inning, and the Lady Pirates wound up on the short end of the stick in the Class 3A consolation championship game, 20-8.
Addison Sheffield’s solo home run with two outs in the fourth gave the Pirates the three-run cushion. In the fifth, Wister sent 18 batters to the plate. Kinley Branscum tied it on a groundout for the second out of the inning. The crushing blow was a grand slam by Kourtney Donaho, making it 12-7, and the Lady Wildcats (29-10) would go on to plate five more runs.
Harley Welch hit a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, but Gore, finishing at 25-13, could get nothing else.
Kara Brimm’s three-run home run was part of a five-run third that had Gore up 6-1.
Gore finished with 15 hits. Sheffield was 3-for-4 and Welch, Brimm, Karli Springer and Natalie Casteel all had two hits each.
Springer homered in Gore’s opener, a 19-5 loss to Wister, which then lost in the winner’s bracket final and had to face Gore again after losing 11-10 to Calera.
Gore stayed in the hunt with a 17-2 elimination win over Stratford behind a 22-hit assault led by Sheffield and Ralea Brooksher, both going 4-for-4.
The Lady Pirates’ elimination means for the first time since 1986, the area will be shut out of the state slowpitch tournament. That was the fourth year of slowpitch and only four teams made the state tournament, all in one classification.
Oktaha, Checotah and Gore were the three regional qualifiers this year. Sequoyah, which had an eight-year streak, did not field a team this season due to the pandemic, and neither did Muskogee.