A nightmarish sixth inning cost Claremore softball its season Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Zebras forced an “if” game with a 3-2 win over host Durant, but the Lady Lions had the final word as they used a four-run sixth to escape with a 5-1 victory in the Class 5A Regional 8 championship.
Durant (23-13) advanced to the state tournament with the win while Claremore finished the season at 22-16, ending its quest for a second-consecutive state berth. The Lady Zebras eliminated Will Rogers in a 17-0 decision earlier in the day to reach the championship series.
Durant 5, Claremore 1: Maddox Thomas tied the game at 1 when Grace Weaver grounded into a double play in the bottom of the fifth, but the Lady Lions responded quickly.
Riley Ramos scored on a wild pitch to regain the lead for Durant, and Bellamy Knight followed with a 2-RBI double two pitches later to make it a 4-1 spread. Aubrey Tomlinson scored on an error shortly thereafter for the game’s final run.
Knight, who also earned the win in the circle, led all batters with two hits. She tallied two strikeouts while allowing no runs on four hits and one walk on 55 pitches through four innings. Abi Gregory pitched the remaining three innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out one.
Jadyn Muns took the loss for the Lady Zebras, managing one strikeout while allowing one run on three hits and a walk in five innings of action. Vivian Scuggins surrendered four runs, three hits and one walk with one strikeout in two innings of relief.
Claremore 3, Durant 2: Durant scored two quick runs in the first via an error and a Gregory double, but Claremore refused to fold.
Emily Rogers notched the walk-off hit with a single to left field in the eighth inning, scoring Weaver. Rogers and Thomas co-led the team with three hits apiece, and Weaver was close behind with two.
The Lady Zebras trailed 2-0 until the fifth when Thomas and Weaver tied it up with a home run and a double, respectively.
Muns was credited with the win, striking out one while allowing a hit and a walk on 37 pitches through 3.1 innings. Scuggins started the game, surrendering six hits, two runs and two walks on 78 pitches through 4.2 innings.
Claremore 17, Will Rogers 0: Claremore wasted little time putting this one away.
The Lady Zebras punished Will Rogers with nine first-inning runs en route to a nine-hit performance that included two triples (Thomas and Abbey Hagen) and four doubles (Paiten Reavis, Weaver, Thomas and Halle Bucktrot).
Toney Gibson kept the Lady Ropers off the scoreboard while striking out nine and allowing only one hit with no walks on 57 pitches in the five-inning run rule.