A busy summer-league softball schedule may be drawing to a close, but the Pawhuska Lady Huskies are not even close to running out of gas. Au contraire!
Last week, the discovery of a new leak from an old gas well located beneath the Pawhuska High School softball diamond resulted in a drilling rig being installed behind second base at the local field. A crew has been working there since Thursday to cap the abandoned well head, which initially was noticed two years ago.
"They thought they had it capped once before and now they’re out there trying again," said Olivia Chronister, coach of the PHS Lady Huskie squad.
The Pawhuska girls were scheduled to conclude a four-week-long summer league with pairs of home games this week, but the recent drilling operations have caused those contests to be relocated.
(PHS’s Tuesday games versus Foyil and Sperry were played at Dewey and Wednesday’s season-finale matchups were set for Sperry against the host Lady Pirates at 9 a.m. and Foyil beginning at noon.)
Through the first nine games of the summer slate, the Lady Huskies held an overall mark of 5-4. Despite being a young team with only a handful of returning starters, Pawhuska had maintained a winning or even (.500) record throughout the campaign.
"We’re using a lot of young kids and have been shuffling them around quite a bit," said Chronister, who will be in her third regular season at the Lady Huskie helm. "They’ve been coming along pretty well, I think."
The coach was less sure about the problems related to the uncapped gas well on the PHS field.
"I’m just hoping it’s finished in time for our regular season," Chronister said.
Following are highlights from previous Lady Huskie summer-league contests.
PHS 8, Dewey 2
In a game played Thursday (June 12) at Foyil, Pawhuska broke open a 1-1 contest by scoring six times in the top of the third inning and held on for the victory over Dewey behind rock-solid two-hit pitching by Breanna Redeagle and Lauren Garrett.
Sydney Sellers put the Lady Huskies in front in the top of the first with a two-out single to center that brought in Keylee Kirk, who had opened the inning by walking and moved to second on a ground out. The Lady Doggers scored once to tie the contest in the home half of the inning and both teams went scoreless in the second.
Mary Jo Upchurch started the PHS rally in the third by lining a single to left field and Ashley Henley followed with a double to left, scoring Upchurch and putting the Lady Huskies ahead to stay. Henley eventually scored following a hit batsmen (Redeagle) and an error by the Dewey outfield. Redeagle scored later on an infield error — making the score 4-1.
Logan Ratzlaff scored the next run following an RBI single to center by Beth Horn. A two-out, two-run single up the middle by Upchurch brought home Tanaya Thomas (who had been hit with a pitch) and Kyleigh Ruible (who’d reached on an error) to give the Lady Huskies a 7-1 advantage.
The Lady Doggers pushed across one more tally in the bottom of the third before Larissa Ingersol scored the final run for the Pawhuska girls after leading off the fourth with a single. Ingersol stole second and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice, then scored on a passed ball with two outs.
Redeagle and Garrett both yielded just one hit and neither gave up an earned run. Junior-to-be Redeagle struck out a Lady Dogger batter and also hit one with a pitch in two innings of work. Garrett closed out the contest by throwing 12 strikes in 18 pitches.
Foyil 6, PHS 3
In Thursday’s second game at Foyil, the Lady Huskies fell behind the host Lady Panthers, 6-0, before nearly rallying back to win.
The big hit for Pawhuska was Henley’s line-drive, RBI triple to center in the third. Kirk ripped a one-out single and scored one of the runs delivered by Henley, while Sellers walked and eventually scored the second run of the third.
Sellers and Redeagle had back-to-back singles in the second before Sellers scored on a passed ball for the Lady Huskies’ initial run.
Thomas was in the circle for PHS. She gave up only three hits and struck out four, but she also walked six batters and hit two with pitches.
PHS 6, Salina 1
Prior to being rocked at Cleveland (15-0) by the host Lady Tigers, the PHS girls broke loose for six first-inning runs on route to a 6-1 triumph over the Salina Lady Wildcats on Tuesday (June 10).
Upchurch started the first by walking on four pitches and a mishandled sacrifice off the bat of Kirk put the Lady Huskie runnerson first and second. Steals of third and home by Upchurch put Pawhuska ahead and Kirk scored on a fielder’s choice to make the score 2-0.
Henley, who had walked and stole third, brought home the next Lady Huskie run following Ratzlaff’s RBI single. After reaching on a fielder’s choice and stealing second base, Sellers scored on a bases-loaded walk by Hanna Horn. Redeagle scored (after walking) on an RBI groundout by Ingersol, making the score 5-0, and Beth Horn delivered Ratzlaff with a groundout to close out the scoring with PHS up, 6-0.
Winning pitcher for Pawhuska was Henley, who gave up two hits and one earned run, while striking out a batter and walking no one.
PHS 3, Salina 2
The decisive run in a close Lady Huskie win over Salina resulted from four consecutive hit batters in the second — with Ruible the last to be hit, forcing across Aubrey Walker with the game winner. In between them, McKenna Martin and Star Sweeden had also taken one apiece for the PHS team.
Pawhuska had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the stop of the first as Sweeden led off with a single and advanced all the way to third on an error. Ruible bunted home the first run (also reaching first) and scored to make it 2-0 on an infield single by Beth Horn.
After starting pitcher Thomas had control problems, Garrett came in to finish up and collect the "W."