Claremore softball’s hopes of reaching the state tournament for a second-consecutive year took a hit Wednesday afternoon.
After handling Will Rogers 16-0 in the first round of Class 5A Regional 8, the Lady Zebras fell to host Durant 5-0. They must now win out to reach the state tournament, beginning their rally at noon Thursday against the winner of Will Rogers – Edison.
The winner of that game will move on to face Durant at 2 p.m. If the Lady Lions lose, an if-necessary game will be played at 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
It was a one-run game until the sixth inning, when Durant added four runs to its tally.
Bryleigh Pilgreen scored on an error to begin the separation process, and Rachel Spencer followed soon after on an RBI groundout from Riley Ramos. Two pitches later, Jessica Odom — who scored the game’s first run on an error in the third — blasted a triple to right field, scoring Amree Wingfield to make it 4-0.
A bases-loaded walk gave the Lady Lions their final run later in the inning.
Maddox Thomas gave Claremore its best opportunity to score when she advanced to third on a passed ball after leading off the first with a double, but consecutive strikeouts foiled her plans of reaching home.
Strikeouts became an unfortunate commonplace for the Lady Zebras, who managed only one hit against the arm of Abi Gregory.
Gregory notched 13 strikeouts on 90 pitches through seven innings, allowing only one walk alongside the hit.
Durant finished with seven hits in comparison, including a triple and two doubles, and was led by Ramos and Odom with two each.
Vivian Scuggins surrendered all but one of the Lady Lions’ hits while also giving up three walks on 76 pitches through 5.1 innings, earning her the loss. Jadyn Muns relieved her for the final 1.2 innings, striking out two while allowing one hit and three walks on 48 pitches.
The first game was much more kind to the Lady Zebras, as they accumulated 16 runs on only five hits against the one-win Lady Ropers.
Claremore managed six runs in the first, with three coming on errors and the other half coming on walks.
It was more of the same in the second, for three of the four runs were a result of walks. Emily Rogers snuck in a hit amongst all the walks, singling in Makenzie McNamara.
Heading into the third inning, the Lady Zebras held a comfortable 10-0 lead.
Another pair of bases-loaded walks added two more runs to the tally in the third, and another in the fourth made it 13-0 before Thomas registered a three-run triple to left field, driving in Zoie McKellips, Halle Bucktrot and Emoree Woody.
Bucktrot had a multibase hit as well earlier in the game, recording a lead-off double to left field in the third.
Toney Gibson pitched the shutout, striking out eight while allowing one hit and no walks on 55 pitches through five innings.