OKLAHOMA CITY — A clutch defensive play prolonged the coaching career of Tony Winefield for at least one more day Thursday in day one of the Class 5A fastpitch softball high school state tournament at Hall of Fame Stadium.

Claremore turned a double play in the bottom of the seventh inning to hold off Skiatook, 4-3, and stave off elimination. The Lady Zebras dropped their opener, 2-0, in nine innings to top-ranked Carl Albert.

With the victory over Skiatook, the Lady Zebras improved to 25-20 overall on the year.

Skiatook had a golden opportunity in the seventh, trailing by one run with the bases loaded and just one out.

But Katie Short, the team’s cleanup hitter, was forced to ground into a 1-2-3 double play to end the Lady Bulldog threat and lift Claremore to an exuberant victory.

The Lady Zebras also found far more consistent offense against Skiatook, pounding out 12 hits off starting pitcher Demi DeGreer after finishing with only one against the Lady Titans.

Winefield couldn’t even remember his team getting a single hit off DeGreer when the two teams met earlier in the season.

“Our hitting was a great strength for us in this game because they beat us, 5-0, earlier in the year and I don’t think we had a hit all game against this same pitcher,” Winefield said.

“We have become so much more confident and so much better as a team as the year has gone by that this is hardly the same team we had at the first part of the year.

“We have great team instincts right now, which was kind of lacking when we first started, but now we are playing well and beat a good Skiatook team.”

The Lady Zebras had identical third and fourth innings offensively where they scored all four of their runs.

Brittany Scott and Brooke Hudson sparked the offense with a pair of clutch hits in the third, both coming with two outs.

Scott doubled to right field to drive in Jordan Ford to even the score at 1-1, and Hudson followed with a RBI single to left, scoring Keeli Garroutte and giving Claremore a lead it would never surrender.

The two runs snapped an 11-inning scoring drought for the Lady Zebras.

Garroutte was the offensive catalyst during the fourth. She lined a two-out single to right field to knock in Brittany Tull and D.J. Simpson and extend the Claremore lead to 4-1.

The Lady Zebras failed to have a hit in just one inning when DeGreer set them down in order during the seventh.

Skiatook rallied with one run each in the fifth and sixth innings off Claremore starting pitcher Erin Glover.

In the fifth, Megan Bly reached on an error, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by lead-off hitter Casey Elliot to trim the Claremore lead to 4-2.

Amanda Snively brought the Lady Bulldogs to within one run during the sixth when she tripled down the right-field line to bring home courtesy runner Jessica Bly.

Kelbie Young and Elliot both singled to start the Skiatook seventh, and Rebecca Dillman walked to fill the bases with one out.

But Glover escaped any damage when she got Short to ground into the game-ending double play.

Glover allowed one earned run on seven hits in seven innings of work to record the win and improve to 5-4 on the season. She finished with two strikeouts and issued a pair of walks.

“She started slowly and wasn’t getting ahead of hitters,” Winefield said. “But once the second or third inning rolled around she started to find the range on her drop ball and she did a great job of keeping us in the game.”

Tull, Simpson, Ford, Scott and Hudson each had two hits apiece to lead the Claremore hitting attack.

Simpson had Claremore’s lone hit in the setback to Carl Albert. She singled to left field with two outs during the fourth inning.

Lady Titans’ starting pitcher Samantha Bachman went the distance to earn a complete-game shutout. Bachman registered 11 strikeouts and allowed three Claremore base runners.

Claremore’s best opportunity for a run came during the sixth when Bachman walked Bailey Winters. Winters stole second base with two outs, but was left stranded after Tull went down on strikes.

The only other base runner Bachman allowed was when she walked Garroutte in the seventh.

Kimberly Eubank delivered the game-winning hit with a single to center that scored Ashlee Dodson. Kristyn Shawer also scored on the play when Tull committed a throwing error.







ALBERT 2, CLAREMORE 0

MWC Albert 000 000 002 — 2 8 0

Claremore 000 000 000 — 0 1 1

Bachman and Weaver. Garroutte and Chanley.





CLAREMORE 4, SKIATOOK 3

Claremore 002 200 0 — 4 6 2

Skiatook 010 110 0 — 3 6 0

Glover and Chanley. DeGeer and Short.

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