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Lady Horns battle, but fall short in 4A title game

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — The toughest feeling in any sport is walking off the field after a loss, especially when it’s in the title game. Not all squads make it that far though, and the Lone Grove High School softball team has a lot to be proud of after a successful 2020 campaign.

But that still doesn’t make it any easier as the Lady Horns’ season ended Saturday with an 8-6 loss to Tuttle in the 4A State Championship at OGE Energy Field.

“The girls have put in so much time, so much work and so much sweat and to see them that close, and fall short is hard,” said Lone Grove head coach Jimmy Miller. “We’re disappointed, but we’re still very, very proud of the season the girls had and the work they put in.”

The Lady Horns showed a lot of heart against Tuttle as they found themselves trailing on a few occasions. Lone Grove rallied from two of those deficits, but couldn’t pull it off a third time.

“We’ve scored runs in bunches all year long and we knew we could,” Miller said. “We ended up getting a few in the fifth inning and we battled and battled and battled. We had our chances to win it, but just couldn’t get it done. I’m very, very proud of them.”

Lone Grove's Emmy Guthrie throws a pitch against Tuttle. The senior struck out 15 in an 8-6 loss.

Miller was right as Lone Grove erased a 5-0 deficit in the fifth and came back from a 6-5 hole in the seventh. The fifth-inning rally was impressive as the Lady Horns only had two hits through four innings.

Lone Grove put those struggles in the rearview mirror by loading the bases in the bottom of the fifth.

Lexi Meadows made sure to make Tuttle pay as she earned a walk to send Mattie Roj home. That sparked the offense as Chloe Yeatts hit a two-run single and Emmy Guthrie followed with an RBI single to bring Lone Grove within one run.

Lilly Hacker scored the game-tying run on a Tuttle error and the Lady Horns were back in it.

Lone Grove did fall into another hole, but it was only one run this time and Yeatts came through with an RBI single in the seventh to knot the score 6-6.

That was all the Lady Horns could muster though, as Tuttle scratched across two runs in the top of the 11th to win a 4A championship.

Emmy Guthrie still gave Lone Grove a shot as she struck out 15 and walked just one in 11 innings of work. However, the senior threw a surprising 196 pitches and fatigue likely played a factor in Tuttle finally scoring.

“She ended up throwing a lot of pitches there,” Miller said of Guthrie. “That wears on you, but give Tuttle credit — they’re a good ball club. We had our chances, but we couldn’t get it done.”

Yeatts led the offense with four hits and three RBIs, while Meadows and Malea McMurtrey each finished with two base knocks.

The contest was the final one for Guthrie, Kylie Bangert, Emily Burns, Noa Dodson, Kali Henry and Braley Kott. That fact made it tough for Miller to put it all into perspective.

“I don’t know how to sum up the season in a few words,” Miller said. “But it’s been a lot of fun with this bunch.”