JENKS — A fourth-inning, four-run eruption started the fireworks as the No. 1-ranked Claremore Lady Zebras blasted Jenks in an 8-3 high school fastpitch softball game Monday.
It was a slow fuse for Claremore, Class 5A's top team for the third straight week. The home team was leading, 2-0, when the explosion occurred.
Claremore was still looking for its first hit with one out in the fourth when Jordan lit the match with a double down the left field line. Before the smoke could clear, the Zebras scored four runs on five hits.
The tying and go-ahead runs came on Brooke Hudson's double over the head of the right fielder.
Claremore was not through. The Zebra girls, improving to 17-3, roared back for two additional runs in each of the next two innings.
In the sixth, Cassidy Bowen hit a two-run homer over the right field fence. It was her third home run of the season.
The Lady Trojans' freshman starter Darcy Taylor retired 10 of the first 11 batters, allowing only a walk to Julie Rigsby in the second inning.
Ford's shot down the line was Claremore's first hit and only the second runner. More quickly followed. Allyson Pogue singled and Ford stopped at third base. Rigsby put down a perfect bunt to the left side of the infield. It was square in the middle of four fielders. None had a chance to get to it before Ford raced home for Claremore's first score. Pogue moved to second and Rigsby reached first without a throw.
With two outs, Hudson scored both of her teammates with her double.
Moments later, in a head's-up decision by Hudson, she scored when Sami Garroutte was safe at first on a throwing error.
In a repeat feat, Ford doubled again in the fifth and scored on a ball hit by Rigsby. In a close play at home plate, the Zebra runner got under the catcher's tag.
Pogue, on base with a walk, scored on a Whitney Hocutt sacrifice and Claremore had grabbed a 6-2 edge.
Bowen's homer, also scoring Sami Garroutte who had walked, concluded Claremore's scoring. The eight runs matched the Zebras’ season high — they have scored eight runs three times.
Jenks, 8-10 and unranked in Class 6A, put Claremore in an early hole by scoring its leadoff batters in the first and second innings.
Zebra ace Keeli Garroutte hit Jenks' first batter, Erin Miller. Two outs later Gaby Cepeda doubled to center and Jenks was on top, 1-0.
Bradlee Pilling singled to start the Trojans' second inning and scored just before Miller was tagged at second with the third out.
In running her record to 14-3, Keeli Garroutte struck out eight while giving up seven hits, including three doubles. She walked two and hit another.
Claremore pounded out 11 hits, including four for extra bases. Taylor struck out four and walked three.
The Lady Zebras are scheduled to play two games today at the Lady Zebra field. They will face Catoosa at 3 p.m. and Bixby at 7 p.m. Catoosa and Bixby will play a game between the Claremore contests.
Lady Zebras win 2 of 3
The Lady Zebras went to Norman last weekend hoping to play six games in the University of Oklahoma high school tournament. In the midst of dodging rainstorms, coach Rodney Bowen's squad won two and lost one.
The Lady Zebras defeated Davenport, 4-0, and dropped a 1-0 decision to Deer Creek on Friday. In a 6-inning, time-limit game Saturday morning, Claremore stopped Midwest City, 7-3.
Garroutte started all three games and received relief help from Hocutt in the Davenport contest.
CLAREMORE 8, JENKS 3
Claremore 000 422 0 — 8 11 0
Jenks 110 001 0 — 3 7 1
Garroutte and Bowen. Taylor and Cepeda. W — Garroutte (14-3). L — Taylor. HR, Claremore, Bowen (3).
CLAREMORE 4, DAVENPORT 0
Davenport 000 000 0 — 0 4 0
Claremore 002 10 4 x — 7 6 0
Melson, Foster (4) and Riley. Garroutte, Hocutt (4) and Bowen. W — Garroutte (12-2). L — Foster.
DEER CREEK 1, CLAREMORE 0
Claremore 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Deer Creek 00 010 x — 1 2 1
Garroutte and Bowen. Alston and Morgan. W — Alston. L — Garroutte
CLAREMORE 7, MIDWEST CITY 3
Claremore 002 104 — 7 6 0
Midwest City 002 010 — 3 3 1
Garroutte and Bowen. Smith and Green. W — Garroutte (13-3). L — Smith.
VERDIGRIS 6, CHELSEA 0
Verdigris 100 140 — 6 6 2
Chelsea 000 000 — 0 3 0
Meyer and Rue. McSpadden and Patterson.
Verdigris — T.K.Worley 2-3, Kinsey Meyer 2 RBIs, Jordan Thomas RBI, Brittany Rue RBI.