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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Bethel softball captures state championship

  • The Lady Wildcats outslugged Sequoyah-Tahlequah 20-10 to win the school's eighth state championship on Tuesday.
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  • Scoring a total of 40 runs in three games, the Bethel Lady Wildcats captured the eighth slow pitch softball state title in school history on Tuesday, defeating Sequoyah-Tahlequah 20-10 in the championship game.
    The Lady Wildcats (38-5) defeated Henryetta 10-2 in the quarterfinals then came back with six runs in the seventh inning to defeat Purcell 10-8 in the semifinals before unleashing 22 hits in a run-rule win over the Lady Indians in the finals.
    “We just have a lot of good, talented kids that work hard and are coachable,” Bethel head coach Casey Brewer said. “They rose to the occasion and came forward when we needed them to.”
    Bry Flanagan and Montana Price did much of the offensive damage. Flanagan went 8-for-10 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in the three games, while Price was 8-for-9 with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
    It was Flanagan that delivered the decisive blow in the comeback win over Purcell in the semis, hitting a grand slam that gave Bethel the lead for good in the top of the seventh inning.
    The Lady Wildcats went into the inning trailing 8-4, but scored six runs on seven hits to take the lead for good. After Flanagan’s grand slam made it 9-8, Price followed with a solo home run for the final margin.
    Bethel trailed again in the championship game after Sequoyah scored five times in the top of the first inning. Flanagan and Rylee Steward had run-scoring base hits in the bottom of the inning and Mikayla Whitten drove in two with a double to centerfield.
    But the Lady Wildcats were just getting started. In the next inning Bethel turned the tables for good, scoring eight runs on eight hits to take a 12-5 lead.
    Price had a grand slam that made it 10-5 at the time, while Whitten added another RBI double and Rachel Wade and Flanagan had run-scoring base hits.
    Sequoyah (21-11) fought back with two runs in the top of the third, but the Lady Wildcats had all the answers, with three more runs in the third and three more in the fourth, including a three-run home run by Price that made it 19-10 in the fourth inning.
    Wade delivered the knockout blow in the fifth, driving in Ashley Elmore with a base hit to invoke the run rule and clinch the championship.
    “They responded well,” Brewer said. “I told them to just stay in it. We knew we could score those runs. I told them that one through ten, we couldn’t have any wasted at-bats because we were going to have to score a lot of runs to beat those guys.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Nine different players had a hit in the championship game, with seven of them getting two hits or more. Price finished with eight RBIs while Flanagan drove in at least three runs in every game of the tournament.
    The title is the first for Bethel since they won back-to-back state championships in 2009 and 2010. Tuesday’s win also comes on the heels of the Lady Wildcats’ loss in the fast pitch state finals in October.
    “It still kind of hurts,” Brewer said of that loss. “It always will. But this helps.”
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