For a game still in the month of August, Tuesday’s softball showdown between District 5A-4 unbeatens was far from deciding the league race but it definitely was worth a leg up for all-important playoff positioning.
Facing a Tahlequah club that rolled in undefeated for the season, Durant produced it’s best all-around of the year thus far, posting a strong 6-0 victory over the Lady Tigers to move into sole possession of the district top slot.
“That was our best win of the season so far,” head coach Cody Little stated. “It was a total team effort. We had people come off the bench with huge contributions for us. We came together and got it done. I was proud of them.”
The Lady Lions set the tone with an offensive landslide which included five batters with at least two hits apiece in the contest.
Meanwhile on the other side, Tahlequah could never find the answer for sophomore southpaw Isie Cox, who struck out the side in the opening stanza and never really looked back from there. She finished with 11 strikeouts and walked just one while scattering five hits in the complete game victory.
Haley Morgan ignited the offensive charge for Durant with a double in the first frame, one of her game-high three hits on the evening. Cox and Shayla Harper added singles to stake Durant to the early advantage at 1-0.
They tacked on two more runs in the third fueled by singles from Morgan, Harper and Rachel Lamb. Jayci Phillips and Hannah Hime contributed hits in the fifth inning with Hime driving in a run to push the Durant lead to 5-0.
The Lady Lions, now 11-3, ended the scoring in the sixth after Morgan singled, stole second and scored on Tristyn Hamilton’s single. Hannah Kaler also chipped in a hit off the bench.
“This was the best pitching performance of Isie’s career,” Little added. “She was in control from the start.
“Shayla (Harper) went down with an ankle injury but Karlie Westmoreland came in defensively and we didn’t miss a beat. Kaler also came in with a big hit for us. We got key contributions from a lot of areas.”
Durant continues its four-game homestand with another showdown against a powerhouse on Thursday when Class 2A’s top-ranked Dale visits for a 4:30 start.
Contact Kevin Farr at 580-634-2161 or firstname.lastname@example.org