OKLAHOMA CITY – The Lady Devils of Prague made it back to the Class 3A state fastpitch tournament for the first time in 11 years but were knocked out in the first round Thursday in a 9-5 loss to tournament regular Washington.
The girls had the Lady Warriors on the ropes, but a two-run single in the top of the seventh added a pair of insurance runs for Washington. Beth Denney, Adisyn Auld and Rachel Rumsey went down in order in the bottom of the inning to keep Prague from starting a late comeback.
Prague played relatively mistake-free, but were outplayed, coach Garan Qualls said.
“You've got to be ready to go and they were a little bit better than we were today. That's the name of the game,” he said.
Washington went up 4-0 on a two-run double and two-run triple in the top of the second but a single to center from Taylor Hodges and bases loaded walk to Karsyn Coleman cut the lead in half.
Hodges tripled to deep left in the bottom of the sixth to score Brittany Harwell and kick off a three-run rally that cut Washington's lead to 7-5. Jaycee Johnson singled to left to bring home Harwell and Josi Goodman singled to right, allowing Harwell to cruise in safely.
Denney pitched the game for the Lady Devils. She gave up 15 hits and walked three and sat three down for the loss. Lyndie Ervin earned the win for Washington with six hits and walked three batters.
Denney did what she could to put the ball where she needed to, but it wasn't enough.
“They hit the ball when we weren't,” Qualls said. “They've got a stacked lineup over there so we knew we needed to keep the ball down and mix up pitches but they put good swings on the ball,”
Prague had seven hits and committed two errors.
Hodges and Johnson had two hits each and Coleman was walked twice.
The Lady Devils finish the season with a record of 28-11. They graduated three seniors in Rumsey, Macyn Anderson and Kaylee Hacker and return seven.
“We have seven starters coming back so we're looking to be right back here next year,” Qualls said.