SHAWNEE – The Shawnee Lady Wolves punched their ticket to the 2017 State Fast Pitch Softball Tournament with an impressive 10-4 win over the Skiatook Lady Bulldogs, Saturday afternoon at the FireLake Ball Fields.
“I am really proud of this team,” said Shawnee head coach David Rolette. “We battled all year long and these girls worked very hard and did everything we asked them to.”
Skiatook took an early 1-0 lead after the top half of the first inning on and RBI single by pitcher Piper Hand. The lead would be very short-lived, as the Lady Wolves answered in the bottom of the first with two runs. Hallie Wilson led off with an infield single and created havoc on the bases with her speed. She stole second, then scored on a bunt single by senior Saidy Smith. Smith then scored off of an RBI single by Tatum Sparks giving the Lady Wolves the 2-1 lead.
“It's always big to answer right back after a team scores,” said Rolette. “Especially in a big ball game like this.”
Turns out they had six more answers in the bottom half of the second.
Laynie Rimer led off the inning with a walk and Kali Kasterke moved her to second on a one-out infield error. Wilson then laced a double to left, scoring Rimer and setting the table for more plate damage. Smith hit a laser to left center scoring two more runs and ended up standing on third. Shawnee was up 5-1, but the fireworks were just beginning.
The hot-hitting Sparks then crushed a Hand offering over the left center wall to increase the advantage to 7-1. After the homer, Shawnee loaded the bases and scored another run on an infield bloop single by Skyla Copeland. After the dust had settled, Shawnee had scored six runs on five hits, and two errors, taking an 8-1 lead into the third.
“It was kind of like yesterday's games,” said Rolette. “We had some big early innings like we did today.”
And just like the day before, the Lady Wolves pitcher Baylie Enright held the opposing offense in check. Enright gave up four runs on 10 hits, walked and struck out two batters each,
Shawnee added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Sparks hit a deep sacrifice fly to left, scoring Kasterke, swelling the lead to 9-1 with two innings left to play.
Things turned a little shaky for Enright and the Lady Wolves in the sixth, as the Lady Bulldogs scored three runs on three hits after a lead-off walk, cutting the advantage to 9-4, but the right hander got out of the inning when she forced a shallow fly ball.
“She may have been a little tired and may have had some nerves,” said Rolette. “But remember, she's just a freshman.”
Enright is one of six freshman in that explosive Shawnee line-up.
“I told them how proud I was of them, but there is still work to do,” said Rolette.
The Shawnee Lady Wolves will begin play in the Class 5A State Tournament Thursday, in Oklahoma City.