Roundup: Lone Grove clinches a trip to state; Plainview, Sulphur fall to end season
LONE GROVE — Every season holds special meaning to a senior class that wants to reach its goal of a state championship. It’s no different for the Lone Grove softball team as a group of six seniors kept their season alive Friday with a 6-0 shutout of Newcastle at Glenn Wendt Field.
The victory not only gave the Lady Horns a regional title, but it also clinched a spot in the 4A State Tournament.
“It means everything,” Lone Grove senior Emily Burns said of advancing to state. “This will be my fourth year in a row to go, and I’m so excited and so blessed that I have this group of girls.
The Lady Horns were knocked out in the first round a year ago, but they advanced to the state semifinals during the previous season and were state runner-ups in 2017.
However, Burns knows this group has come a long way since their freshman year. Her, Kylie Bangert, Noa Dodson, Emmy Guthrie, Kali Henry and Braley Kott have developed a close bond over years and that should go a long way in the quest for a state championship.
“We’ve been together — we’re sisters,” Burns said. “There’s nothing that could separate us.”
The Lady Horns proved that during the past two days by tallying shutouts in all three regional contests. However, the most important one was the last one as Lone Grove celebrated once Emmy Guthrie tallied her 13th strikeout of the afternoon.
“It’s always fun to see a group reach one of their goals,” said Lone Grove head coach Jimmy Miller. “We still have another goal to get to, but it’s always exciting (to win a regional) and I’m proud of them.”
The Lady Horns wasted little time out of the gate, scoring a run in the first and tacking on three more in the third.
“We started fast, scored some runs early and that helped a little bit,” Miller said. “Of course, Emmy did a good job and we added a few (runs) as the game went on. It was a lot of fun.”
Malea McMurtrey led the way with three hits, while Chloe Yeatts and Logan Ketchum each finished with two hits and two RBIs. One of Ketchum’s RBIs came on a solo homer in the fifth that put the nail in Newcastle’s coffin.
Jordan Ramsay added a pair of base knocks, including a double, while Guthrie, Dodson, Roj and Burns each tallied a base hit. Every one of the nine Lady Horns starters finished with a base knock as Lone Grove outhit the Lady Racers by a 15-1 margin.
That meant Guthrie notched her second straight one-hitter after doing the same Thursday against the same team.
“We’ll enjoy it until about Monday and then we’ll go back to work on whoever we’re playing for next week,” Miller said. “That’s just what you do.”
The Lady Horns now await their opponent in the 4A State Tournament, which starts Thursday at USA Softball Hall Of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
“I think we can do it,” Burns said. “I think we’re going to be calm. We’re going to go in willing to fight and take it one inning at a time, one pitch at a time.”
Class 4A, Regional 4
Bridge Creek 8, Plainview 2
At Tecumseh, it was a close battle early on, but the Lady Indians couldn’t hold off Bridge Creek Friday in a season-ending 8-2 loss.
Plainview trailed 2-0 for most of the afternoon before scoring its first run in the bottom of the fifth. However, Bridge Creek tallied a run in the top half of the frame and added five more in the top of the seventh to pick up the win.
Lexi Hackney paced the offense with two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs. Brooklyn Charnock and Brinkley Campbell each added a pair of base knocks, while Riley Lee, Logan Lee and Riley Grant finished with a hit apiece.
Grant struck out eight in six innings of work, while Charnock tossed an inning of relief.
Class 3A State Tournament
Tishomingo 5, Sulphur 1
At Shawnee, the Lady Bulldogs held the defending state champions in check for most of Friday afternoon, but couldn’t hold on long enough in a 5-1 setback in the semifinals of the Class 3A State Tournament.
Both teams were knotted up 1-1 after four innings before Tishomingo scored three runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh for the final tally.
Shallen Mershon tallied Sulphur’s lone hit of the game on an RBI double in the fourth to score Ally Dixon.
Amera Garner struck out six in a complete-game effort, while Tishomingo pitcher Grace Anderson finished with 15 strikeouts and two walks.