COLBERT — Calera beat Rock Creek and Coalgate en route to the championship game Friday at the Colbert Softball Tournament. But the Lady Dawgs eventually fell 9-2 to Latta, the team that had bumped them to the loser’s side of the bracket in Game 5 of the one-day tourney on a 5-4 decision.
Going in, Oklahoma Secondary Schools Association rankings had Calera at No. 10 in Class 4A and Latta at No. 11. Both teams drew first-round byes, but Calera played four games to Latta’s three.
The Lady Panthers posted a four-run first inning, add three in the second and two more in the fifth before the 55-minute time limit ended the game. Calera divided its two runs between the fourth and fifth frames.
Calera third baseman and three-hole hitter Ricki Harper led the Lady Dawgs offensively in the final game. She went 3 for 3, with double to right field; a single and another single that dropped over the second baseman.
Laney Rogers hit two singles, one of which loaded the bases in the fourth.
Kaleigh Smith, Kaylee Ervin and Tori Swedelson each contributed a single. And Madi Robinson’s single in the fifth allowed Ervin to score on a fielder’s choice at second base.
Raylee Rogers reached on a walk in the fourth, and she was able to score on a sacrifice fly by Bailey McGuinness.
“I think we did a good job competing in a lot of tough ballgames today,” Calera coach Randy Ellevold said. “There were a lot of close ballgames. We came out on the wrong end of one one-run ballgame, but we won a couple of one-runs. Any time you play a lot of close ballgames like that and you come out on top, it’s a good thing. It prepares you for the playoffs. That’s all were trying to do is get ourselves set up for the playoffs and know what we need to do to get to the very next level. Everybody we played today — Coalgate, Rock Creek, Latta — they’re good ball clubs.
“We played great defensively all day. We’ve gotta swing the bats better, or we’re gonna be in trouble. We’ve got to score more runs. We averaged about three runs per ballgame today in four games, and that can’t happen in slow-pitch. You’ve got to put seven or eight on the board and hit every inning. So that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Coalgate 7 vs. Colbert 5; Coalgate 12 vs. Colbert 0
In other tournament action, host team Colbert had to play Coalgate twice. The Lady Leopards were bested 7-5 in the first game and 12-0 in the next one. Coach Damon Lewis said the opener was only his third game to have enough players to fill the field.
Calera 4 vs. Rock Creek 3
Calera and Rock Creek were knotted at 3 until the seventh inning. Both teams had base runners through the fourth and fifth that were unable to break the tie. The Lady Mustangs managed three hits in the top of the seventh, including a double by Kaytlin Blackburn that put runners at second and third. But Arie Young grounded out to end the opportunity.
That brought up Calera leadoff Taylor Pickett. She landed one in short left for a triple. With no outs and bases loaded, Calera’s Raylee Rogers sent up the sacrifice fly that scored Picket for the win.
Latta 5 vs. Calera 4
Calera and Latta were locked at 1-1 through three innings. The Lady Panthers put up four runs in the fourth inning that began with a home run over the left-field fence. The Lady Dawgs waited until the sixth to try to mount a comeback, but the rally was stopped one point short. And since time had expired, that’s where the game ended.
Coalgate 5 vs. Rock Creek 1
The Lady Mustangs couldn’t get anything going in what turned out to be their elimination game. They were down 1-0 after one and tied it 1-1 in the second. But Coalgate put up four runs in the third inning to end all scoring.
The teams played six before time ran out, and a frustrated coach Johnson worked his entire dugout into the lineup before it was done.
Calera 2 vs. Coalgate 1
The Lady Dawgs needed eight innings to take out the Lady Wildcats. Calera took a 1-0 lead in the third that lasted until Coalgate tied it 1-1 in the fifth.
Calera started the eighth with the top of the order. After Taylor Pickett flied out to center, Madi Robinson dropped a single in shallow right-center and Ricki Harper singled on a shot that laid out the second baseman and moved Robinson to third. That set up Laney Rogers for a sacrifice fly to center to score Robinson for the game-winner.