OKLAHOMA CITY – Durant jumped out to an early lead against first-time Class 5A state tournament entrant Woodward but the momentum quickly turned and the Lady Lions could never fully recover dropping a 4-2 opening round decision Thursday night at Hall of Fame Stadium.
Missed chances with runners on base were costly as the Lady Lions close a strong 2017 campaign with a 29-9 overall record while the Boomers move on at 33-8 to face Piedmont in today’s state semifinals.
Early on it looked much like the previous meeting between the two squads in which Durant won 5-2 in August as the Lady Lions plated a run right out of the gate.
Junior standout Haley Morgan smacked a leadoff single to left, stole second and then rode home on the first of three Isie Cox singles in the contest.
Woodward immediately answered with base runners after a Jordyn Wadley single and following walk, but unlike the previous meeting the Lady Lions weren’t able to get out of trouble as Jillian Bouse drilled a two-run single to right with one out to put the Boomers ahead to stay at 2-1.
Another Cox single produced the only DHS base runner over the next two stanzas and Woodward struck again in the fourth, adding to the advantage.
Maison Moseley coaxed a four-pitch leadoff walk that seemed to ignited the northwest Oklahoma club. Alexa White chipped in a bunt single and both came around to score – the first on a Makale Floyd groundout and the second a run-scoring single from nine-hole batter Hannah Hunter.
That pushed the lead to 4-1 and definitely put the pressure on the Lady Lions the remainder of the contest.
They worked a pair of base runners in the fourth off a Woodward error and a rare walk by pitcher Lizzy Hall, who had issued just 18 free passes all season coming into the contest, but Durant couldn’t get a key hit with runners on base.
Another opportunity came in the fifth following singles by Taylor Russell and Cox but the rally was thwarted by two inning-ending strikeouts.
Woodward threatened to completely put it out of reach in the top of the seventh after one-out singles from Paige Hughes and Gracen Williamson but Cox slammed the door while holding the Boomers at bay.
Facing their final at-bat, Durant put together a rally to make things exciting.
With one out, Russell legged out an infield single that bounced off the glove of the Woodward first baseman. Morgan then smacked a double to the leftfield fence.
Cox drove in a run to trim the margin to 4-2 with a single off the Boomer pitcher and Hamilton drew a free pass to jam the sacks. That proved to be the end of the comeback bid however as Hall notched a strikeout and got a pop out to the catcher to end the game.
Durant totaled eight hits in the contest with Cox accounting for three and Morgan and Russell two apiece.
Woodward also notched eight hits in the victory.
Contact Kevin Farr at 580-634-2161 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior shortstop Shayla Harper looks to turn a double play while making the throw to first during Thursday night’s opening round of the Class 5A state tournament. The Lady Lions’ season came to an end as they finish with a 29-9 overall record.