Three innings. Three opportunities. Nine outs. That’s what the Chickasha High School baseball team had Thursday against Altus in an elimination game of the regional tournament at Elliott Field, but the Fightin’ Chicks came up painfully short, abruptly ending their season.
Chickasha lost 3-1 to an Altus team that had only won seven games going into the regional tournament; one of those victories came against Chickasha in mid-March. The Chicks' final record for 2012 is 21-11.
After earning the privilege to host its regional tournament, Chickasha opened the playoffs with a 21-1 victory over Western Heights on Wednesday.
Derek Stephens pitched all five innings of the game, allowing three hits and one run, striking out five batters.
John Mitchell went 1-for-2 with three RBIs, and Brant Haile went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the way offensively for the Fightin’ Chicks.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, head coach Brad Gore put the reserves in the game, and they put up seven runs. Kris Lennier, Hayden Johnson, Walker Hines and Trevor Rider all had RBIs in the inning.
Of course, that game was just a warm-up for the real test, a game against Shawnee. The Wolves were the No. 7 team in the state, but had lost to Chickasha in a 10-9 game at the Bill Tipton Tournament.
The Chicks took a 3-0 lead in the game, before Shawnee tied it up in the bottom of the third inning with three runs of its own. The Wolves added two more in the second, before breaking the game open with a seven-run fifth inning that knocked Chickasha starting pitcher Blake Burns out of the game. Shawnee started the inning with a first-pitch leadoff home run.
Chickasha got out of that fifth inning with the help of Zach Ervin and Cade Morris, who pitched in relief and each recorded one out. Ryker Steelman finished the game.