A pair of blowout wins at their 4A softball regional on Thursday earned the Bethel Lady Wildcats a return trip to next week's state tournament.
BETHEL – In a businesslike performance on their home field, the top-ranked Bethel Lady Wildcats run-ruled Seminole and Muldrow to clinch a spot in next week’s 5A slow pitch state tournament, capturing a regional title on Thursday.
The Lady Wildcats (35-5) needed just four innings to demolish the Lady Chieftains in game one, scoring eight runs in the second and five more in the fourth inning of a 14-0 win. Ashley Elmore’s base hit with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the second inning was misplayed by the Seminole right fielder, leading to three runs to open the scoring.
A pair of walks, another error and three hits eventually led to five more runs for the Lady Wildcats as they took an 8-0 lead. Megan Tade, Montana Price and Zoe Rainer all had RBIs in the inning.
Bry Flanagan drove in a run with a base hit in the third, and the Lady Wildcats would put the game away with five more runs in the fourth. Five straight hits and a walk made it 12-0 before Flanagan put the finishing touches on the win with a two-run single for the final margin.
Ashley Elmore also had a run-scoring base, while Tade picked up her second RBI of the game with a bases-loaded walk.
In their second and final game of the day the Lady Wildcats took on Muldrow, which squeaked out a 2-1 win over Prague to advance. The ninth-ranked Lady Bulldogs (23-10) nearly took the lead in the top of the first inning. A leadoff single was followed by a one-out double to left field, but the lead runner over slid at third base and was tagged out for the second out of the inning.
Instead of runners on second and third with one out, a line drive to left field ended the inning with no runs scored.
Bethel scratched out a run in the first on a base hit by Price that drove in Rachel Wade. After Muldrow got one back in the top of the second, the Lady Wildcats took command of the game with a four-run second. Bailey and Shelby Miller started the rally with back-to-back base hits with one out. Wade and Flanagan then followed with two more base hits with two outs, making it 3-1.
Price then drove a double off the left field wall to put two more runs on the board.
Bethel would continue the onslaught in the third inning, tacking on two more runs before putting the game away with a five-run fourth. Wade led off the inning with a triple and eight of the first nine batters would reach base, making it 13-2 before the dust finally settled.
Muldrow got a run back in the top of the fifth, but it was not enough to extend the game.
“They were pretty focused on the task at hand today and did what we needed to do,” Bethel head coach Casey Brewer said. “If we continue to play solid defense and swing the bats the way we’re capable of I like our chances next week.”
The state slow pitch softball championships will be held at Firelake on Tuesday. Brackets and times will be released by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association later this week.