Chickashanews.com

April 1, 2014

Am-Po repeats as slow-pitch champs

Adam Troxtell, Sports Editor, chickashasports@gmail.com
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA —

Amber-Pocasset wrapped up a full day of softball on Monday with comeback victory over Rush Springs to win the Grady County Slow-pitch Tournament for the second year running.

From 3 p.m. at the Chickasha Sports Complex eight teams competed for the prize. The Lady Panthers cruised through their first round game before disposing of Alex in the semifinals. Rush Springs sent out Ninnekah and eventual third place finishers Union City. Dibble beat Minco to claim the consolation prize.

In a rematch of the 2013 final, it was the Lady Redskins who struck first in the championship game, courtesy of a Lauren Zalewski home run in the bottom of the first inning. Renee Leonard had reached first on a single before Zalewski took one long over the center field fence to put Rush Springs up 2-0.

In three innings' time, Am-Po responded in kind. Maci Brush crushed one out into left-center field for the home run that brought in Ashtin Green, who had reached base on an error. 

It looked as though Zalewski, who went 2-for-2 with a walk, one run and one RBI, would ensure Rush Springs responded in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff triple. But not for the first time, Rush Springs left runners stranded, and it eventually came back to bite them.

Am-Po picked up two runs over the fifth and sixth innings, riding momentum to take the advantage. Green got her second of the game in the sixth when outfielder, and basketball teammate from the winter Suzanne Parker, secured an RBI single for the 4-2 lead.

That insurance run proved to be crucial. With two on and two out, K'Leigh Jordan sent one that was just out of Parker's reach in right center. Kaylin Rennaker came in for the score, and Zalewski rounded third as the Am-Po throw hit the cutoff. Catcher Kylie Stockman cradled the ball as Zalewski slid in and held on for the crucial third out that kept Am-Po ahead by one.

The Lady Panthers ended the game on a double play. With this win, Am-Po copy's the Lady Redskins' efforts when they won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. It was Rush Springs' fourth straight slow-pitch final appearance.

There was drama even before the final rounds. A late Union City score narrowly took them into the semifinals 2-1 over Minco. Alex and Dibble served up another close first round encounter, with the Lady Longhorns coming out on top 4-3. In contrast, 

Amber-Pocasset made quick work of Verden with a 10-1 thrashing and Rush Springs eased into the semis 15-5 over Ninnekah.