A rough first inning was too much to overcame as the Dale Lady Pirates fell to 3A No.1 Henryetta 3-1 on Friday.
DALE – The Dale Lady Pirates have lost four of their last 56 games stretching back to the beginning of the 2013 season.
Two of those losses have now come at the hands of the Henryetta Lady Knights.
The Lady Knights scored three times in the top of the first inning and held on for a 3-1 win in a battle of No.1 teams at Dale High School on Friday.
“We talk all the time that ballgames are won and lost a lot of times in the first inning,” Dale head coach Andy Powell said. “We made some baserunning errors late but we lost this game in the first inning.”
Henryetta freshman Kamarie Wallace got things started in the top of the first inning, driving a triple to right centerfield. Two batters later, starting pitcher Alyssa Osterdock doubled to left centerfield to drive home Wallace with the first run of the game.
A bloop double to centerfield by Mykaela Wallace and a base hit by Ally Flanary completed the Lady Knights’ opening salvo and built a 3-0 lead.
“We didn’t come out ready to play in the first inning,” Powell said. “Our pitcher missed some spots and we couldn’t make up for it because that pitcher’s really good.”
The Lady Pirates (12-3) only got one baserunner through the first three innings of the game when Lauren Hood reached on an error in the bottom of the first. Hood then hit a solo home run with one out in the fourth for Dale’s first and only run of the game.
But Dale pitcher Taylor Powell and the Lady Pirates would hang in the game. The Lady Knights (18-1) got two on in the second, fourth and seventh innings, and had at least one baserunner in every frame, but Powell would hold Henryetta scoreless the rest of the way.
“It was not her best day but she hung in there and kept us in the game,” Andy Powell said. “She missed too many spots early but came around and didn’t quit even though she didn’t have her best stuff.”
Powell would end up taking her first loss of the year, but the Lady Pirates would go down swinging. A leadoff single in the sixth went for naught when a line drive back to Osterdock in the circle led to a double play.
Hood would then start the bottom of the seventh with a walk and Dani Manning followed with a base hit.
But a fly ball to centerfield would lead to another double play and, despite another base hit from Ryanne Griggs, Osterdock would end the game without any further damage.
“They’re number one in 3A for a reason,” Powell said of Henryetta. “To beat them, we have to play well. Not to take anything away from them, but we just didn’t play well.”
Henryetta won a 9-8 decision in last year’s game between the two teams at Henryetta on Aug. 30. It was the only loss in Dale’s 40-1 state championship season.
The Lady Knights finished 26-10 and lost in the 3A state semifinals.