Top-ranked Dale came close to taking its second-ever (and consecutive) Class 4A slow-pitch state crown, but Tushka had just enough in the tank to dethrone the Lady Pirates by a 12-10 count Wednesday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Tushka picked up 21 hits as the Lady Pirates finished with 16, but some of Dale’s hits were certainly loud. Down 7-5 in the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Pirates got a two-out, three-run triple from Jaelin Flewallen to make it 8-7 Dale. Flewallen got another triple along the way, and had a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth that cut another Tushka lead to 11-10.
“We knew we were going to have to hit with (the Lady Tigers),” said Dale coach Andy Powell. “We didn’t give it to them, but they were just better offensively than us today.”
Tushka had some fortunate defense on the day as well, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth.
After the Lady Tigers scored their 12th run of the game in the top of the seventh, the Lady Pirates went down in order. Senior Kassidy Sparks was visibly shaken up as her flyout to right-center ended the game.
Sparks, Caitlyn Pitchford and Rachel Lackey each finished the game with two hits — Lackey with a triple. Kortlyn Wilkey added a double.
Dale finished the season at 33-7. The Lady Pirates’ 2012 title, which came via a 13-2 run-rule win over Latta, was Dale’s first-ever slow-pitch crown.
Dale reached the 2013 finals by besting Latta 13-6 in the quarterfinals, and then hitting Davis with a 19-6 run-rule in five innings in the semifinals. Third-ranked Tushka defeated No. 4 Mangum 14-1 in the quarterfinals, then squeezed by second-ranked Washington 5-2 in the semis.
Dale bids farewell to five seniors — Sparks, Wilkey, Lackey, Sam Barry and Danielle Dockrey.
Note: Report compiled by Jason Smith.