OKLAHOMA CITY The Shawnee softball team's greatest strength for the future became their biggest weakness Thursday as the Lady Wolves were knocked out of the Class 5A state fast pitch tournament with a 10-6 loss to Piedmont.
The young Shawnee team consisting of one senior and primarily of freshmen and sophomores committed seven errors in the loss; four of which came in the top of the fourth where they gave up seven runs to fall behind 7-2.
“Our youth showed up a little bit today, and we thought that might happen,” coach David Rolette said. “But I liked the fight in them and the future's bright. We'll take this and learn from it. One of our goals was to get here and get them acclimated to this atmosphere and we got that accomplished.”
Piedmont's Rikki Hadley reached base and made her way to second on an error in center to lead off the fourth and later came home on a wild pitch to cut Shawnee's lead in half. Freshman Baylie Enright gave up a two out single and then things started getting out of hand.
Two errors in right and a string of hits compounded and Shawnee quickly found themselves behind. Enright had a scare on a liner to the mound that shook her up a but after it struck her glove hand, but she remained to finish out the game.
“She was alright. She had a little stinger. I told her it's just like (catcher Tiara Blackshire) throwing it back at her real hard,” Rolette said.
She allowed 11 hits, walked one and struck out two. The first two innings went down in order and Enright retired three batters in six pitches in the second. She allowed one extra base hit on an RBI double by Ashlyn Brown to put Piedmont ahead 8-3.
Freshman Hallie Wilson reached on a missed catch at first and moved to third on the error in the bottom of the third before coming home on a passed ball to give the Lady Wolves their first run of the game. Sophomore Saidey Smith moved to third on the same pitch after reaching on a walk and stealing second and was brought home on a groundout by freshman Tatum Sparks to take a 2-0 lead.
Sparks sacrificed to left in the fifth to bring home Wilson and make it an 8-4 game. Wilson singled to drive in freshman Laynie Rimer in the sixth and junior Brittany Harmon came in on an error that allowed Smith to reach.
Freshman Carly Torbett hit a triple with one out in the fourth and was brought in on a single from Harmon.
Harman was the only member of the Wolves with two hits – both singles in three attempts. Wilson and Smith were each 1-3 and Wilson scored twice. Sparks was 0-3 and drove in two runs.
Ellie Griffin led the offense for Piedmont with three hits in four attempts. Brown and Noodle Owen each had two.
Chloe Buhuslavicky earned the win from the circle for Piedmont. She gave up five hits, struck out three, walked one and plunked one. The defense behind her committed five errors.
Shawnee finishes the season with a record of 24-11. They will graduate one senior in Blackshire.