In one last bout of baseball this summer, the Fightin’ Chicks opened their end of the season tournament with a 4-1 win over Lawton Eisenhower at Elliott Field.
“They exceeded expectations,” assistant coach Blake Taylor said about Chickasha’s fielding. “We’ve got our middle two infielders, two seniors, out on vacation. We’ve sort of pieced it together for today, so we were expecting a few bumps and bruises. But, we’ve had two freshmen step up and do a great job.”
Chickasha took the lead in the top of the second inning in their first of two games Tuesday afternoon. After getting hit by a pitch, Jonathan Gushing was sent across the plate off a hit by Sheldon McElroy, who was out at first on the play. Orion Couch then came around to give the Chicks a 2-0 lead.
They kept the runs coming in the third. Jake Womack blasted a ball deep left field for a ground rule double. With Ty Thompson pinch running, his attempt to steal third resulted in a wild throw over the bag. Thompson took advantage and crossed home plate for a 3-0 lead the Fightin’ Chicks took out of the inning.
Eisenhower tried to answer in the bottom of the third, but like most of the innings were restricted by a stingy Chickasha defense. Eisenhower were held to no more than four batters in each of the first five innings as the combination of Medina’s pitching and quick, efficient fielding kept them off the board. Medina ended the game with 6 strikeouts in all 7 innings pitched.
“Mario went out there and pitched his heart out like he always does,” Taylor said. “He’s not a guy who’s going to be talkative, but he leads by example. The guy on the mound really sets the tone for the rest of the team.”
Thompson scored another as a pinch runner for Womack in the sixth. With seniors Luke Dixon and Derek Sullivan gone with their families, the team Taylor had available to put out against Lawton consisted of mostly underclassmen. The team showed how much they have learned during the summer, Taylor said.
“Those guys are starting to understand baseball,” Taylor said. “They’re figuring out where they need to be. It’s stuff that comes second nature for us, and in the past we would have been yelling out, thinking for them. Now, they’re thinking of this stuff on their own.”
Eisenower did manage to score in the bottom of the sixth inning when Tyler Dunn brought in Matt Ransdell. Later on, an error by Chickasha put the tying runs on first and second and warranted a visit to the mound by Taylor to calm his troops down. The next batter flew out to center, leaving two on base for Eisenhower in their best chance to come back in the game.
In their second game of the day against Durant, the Fightin' Chicks lost 6-1. They open bracket play on Wednesday at around noon.