October 7, 2013

Cache edges shootout against Chickasha

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


In a game where defense seemed to be thrown out the window right from the start, Cache edged Chickasha 13-12, sealing a dramatic seventh inning comeback with a strikeout as the tying run waited on third.

Cache put up 15 hits on the Lady Chicks, who this week will host the regional tournament ahead of what many expect to be a solid bid for the state title. The loss is an unwanted blip on the radar as Chickasha looks to build momentum ahead of the postseason.

The visiting Bulldogs got off to a positive start, with a leadoff single from Lauren Mason. Jamie Bonnarens brought her around with a double, and Cache suddenly had a lead. The Lady Chicks responded with four of their own to try and set the tone for the game. While trying to steal third, Brighton Gilbert raced across home plate when the throw went wild. Later, a double from senior Tori Smith send Amanda Bradford in to give Chickasha the lead. 

Catcher Lynnsie Elam then set the ship right for Chickasha, sending a pitch from Randi Hamilton sailing over left field and out for the two-run homer to make the score 4-1 with just one inning of play done. Cache showed they’ve got some big bats, too, sending three runs across to set up an old fashioned shootout.

Gore’s leadoff double in the third inning set up another run. This time it came from an RBI-double by Bradford – that just narrowly stayed in and bounced off the wall – before she came across home plate off Elam’s single. The Bulldogs added two more in the top of the fourth to tie things up at seven. Savannah Mundell got a leadoff double for her own to set up the equalizer.

After reaching base on an error, Gilbert came across home for her second time of the night on Bradford’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Lady Chicks were then able to stymie Cache bats in the top of thefifth before opening their lead up. 

A single by Shorty Clift, her first hit of the night, brought Elam across before Gilbert brought in Tristin Watkins. Like Bradford in the third, Kelsi Gore nearly sent one out of the park only to see her shot to right center careen off the wall. It was enough to bring Gilbert across to give Chickasha a 12-7 lead going into the sixth. 

It had appeared the Bulldogs spent their offensive firepower earlier in the game, as Chickasha held them to just one run in the top of the sixth. After getting three hits out of three, Bonnarens was finally able to cross home plate herself. But Chickasha was unable to put any more on the board, leaving open a window Cache was happy to jump through.

After chipping away at the lead and pitcher Gore, Alyssa Eschiti smashed one between left and center to bring in two runs to give the Bulldogs a crucial 13-12 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. The Bulldogs batted around against Chickasha to ensure one last full inning of softball would be needed to decide the game.

Pitcher Hamilton held firm with Tawn Neidy waiting on third base after a leadoff single. Her strike three on counterpart pitcher Gore sealed the win, but came controversially as it could have easily been called a ball inside.