Following a Saturday victory in Tulsa and a couple of final home tune-ups, the Pawhuska High School fastpitch softball team will head to Perkins on Thursday for an Oklahoma Class 3A district showdown.
At stake in the best-of-three-game series with the Lady Demons of Perkins-Tryon — in addition to the District 13 championship — will be a berth in one of next week’s 3A Regional Tournaments.
The district opener is slated to begin at 3 p.m. Thursday, with a second contest to follow around 4:30. If necessary, a decisive third game will be played Friday.
Perkins had compiled a 13-19 season record prior to its scheduled Tuesday matchup with Okemah, the No. 18-ranked team in Class 3A. Teams defeated by the Lady Demons include a couple of the Lady Huskie’s common opponents — Cleveland and Perry.
On Tuesday, coach Olivia Chronister’s Pawhuska squad was looking for its seventh win of the year when Newkirk and Hominy came to town for what would be PHS’s 31st and 32nd games of the regular season.
In Game No. 31, the Lady Huskies battled back repeatedly before falling to Newkirk, 11-7.
Freshman Riley Sell collected a single, double and triple to lead an 11-hit Pawhuska attack. Haley Malaske, Breanna Redeagle and Logan Ratzlaff also had multi-hit games for the home team and seniors Alexis Martin and Malaske both scored twice.
PHS rallied to tie the contest in the second (at 2-2) and third innings. With it still tied in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Huskies scored a run to take their first lead, 5-4.
Newkirk answered the offensive challenge by getting a dozen hits. The Lady Tigers went ahead to stay in the sixth frame when they scored four runs off a pair of doubles and an RBI single. They insured the victory by adding three more runs in the seventh.
Redeagle went the seven-inning route as PHS pitcher. More than half of Newkirk’s runs scored resulted from five errors that were made by the Lady Huskies, while the Lady Tigers commited three fielding miscues.
Pawhuska lost to Hominy by an identical 11-7 score in their second home game Tuesday. (For more on that game, see next week’s J-C or Wednesday’s edition of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.)
Last Saturday, at the Lincoln Christian Tournament in Tulsa, the Lady Huskies exploded for six first-inning runs in a 10-1 win over the host Lady Bulldogs. Senior leadoff batter Malaske kicked off the opening rally with a double. A two-run triple by freshman Mary Jo Upchurch provided another highlight in the inning.
Lady Huskie pitcher Redeagle held Lincoln Christian to three hits in picking up her third victory of the year. The sophomore righthander struck out a pair and walked none in going the five-inning distance.
Pawhuska tacked on four more runs in the fourth. The Lady Huskies pounded out 10 hits in the contest — with Malaske, Sydney Sellers and Sarah Phillippi getting two apiece. Sellers, Phillippi and Upchurch all drove in two runs for the Lady Huskies, while Redeagle and Alexis Martin both knocked home one.
The top four batters in the PHS lineup — Malaske, Keylee Kirk, Phillippi and Sellers — scored twice each. Pawhuska bats produced a quartet of triples. Malaske led off the fourth by tripling to center, and Phillippi and Sellers hit theirs back-to-back later in the inning. Phillippi’s three-bagger was good for two RBI.
In another game at the Tulsa tournament, Pawhuska fell to Ketchum, 5-2. Kirk scored both runs and Phillippi doubled for the Lady Huskies, who had five hits. Malaske struck out six batters in three innings.
The Lady Huskies were on the short end of a 16-1 score at Perry last Friday. The game was moved from Pawhuska due to a wet field. Phillippi had two of the five PHS hits and Malaske scored the lone local run.
On Monday, the Lady Huskies had an early 2-0 lead erased at Pawnee by a 19-hit attack of the Lady Bears. Getting two hits apiece for Pawhuska were Malaske and Sellers and one of Malaske’s was a double. Upchurch had an RBI triple, while runs also were driven in by Phillippi, Sellers and Logan Ratzlaff. Other PHS hits came from Martin and Brittany Summers.