When Claremore and Oologah tussle in sports, especially in fast-pitch softball, fans definitely get their monies worth.
The defending Class 4A state champion Oologah Lady Mustangs got Claremore’s best effort for five strong innings before scoring three runs in the sixth to pull off the 3-0 victory Thursday evening in a preseason scrimmage at Lady Zebra Softball Complex.
A pitching duel between Oologah’s Hunter Jeffs and Claremore’s Ally Johnson highlighted the game early on.
Jeffs held Claremore without a hit through four innings and finished with five strikeouts.
Johnson, meanwhile, tossed five complete innings and held Oologah scoreless while giving up four hits and recording seven strikeouts.
The two arch-rival pitchers are no strangers in grueling duels inside the circle.
With Jeffs taming Claremore’s lineup on straight ‘heat’, Johnson silenced Oologah’s hitters with off-speed.
Oologah first baseman/catcher Jennifer Hertel tallied the game’s first — lacing a single to center field.
On the ensuing play, Claremore freshman third baseman Erica Spencer turned a potential double play by throwing out Hertel at second base on the bunt attempt by Kate Morgan.
The throw from Spencer to Claremore senior shortstop Sarah Brown was on target, but Brown’s relay throw to Claremore senior first baseman Kaylee Bart sailed high and allowed Morgan to reach on the error.
Johnson, however, managed to get out of the second inning with Ashley Edwards’ ground ball to Spencer resulting in a 5-3 putout.
Oologah senior third baseman Alex Edinger added the second hit in the top of the third inning — ripping a sharp two-out single to right field.
Emily Edwards, though, followed with a ground ball putout to Claremore senior second baseman Stephanie Schivally to end the inning.
Claremore’s offense remained hitless after three innings as Jeffs faced 11 batters with five strikeouts and two walks.
Oologah’s Jayci Wang, who finished with two singles on the night, led off the fourth with a base hit and advanced to third base on Hertel’s sacrifce fly to Claremore right fielder McKenzie Couch.
Jeffs also had a single to left field in the fourth.
Claremore’s Brown tallied the Lady Zebras first hit — a single through the right side of the infield — to highlight the bottom half of the fourth.
Oologah’s explosive sixth inning was highlighted by RBI-singles from Wang and Hertel. Ashley Edwards also plated a run with a bases load walk.
Wang’s run-scoring single to right field off Claremore relief pitcher (Stephanie) Schivally put Oologah ahead 1-0.
Hertel’s RBI-single to left field plated Wang to extend Oologah’s lead to 2-0.
And, Ashley Edwards’ bases loaded walk from Schivally plated Jeffs, who reached on a single to left field, to make it 3-0.
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Claremore’s Sarah Brown set off fireworks in the Lady Zebras’ win over Miami late Thursday night.
In the third inning, with two outs, Brown smashed a 3-run homer over the right-center field wall to ignite Claremore’s offense. Brown, in four scrimmages, has been Claremore’s most productive hitter with a single, double, triple and home run.