Despite her team having a mild case of battle fatigue — in addition to a sore-armed pitcher — Coach Olivia Chronister’s Pawhuska Lady Huskies would not be denied their first high school softball triumph of the season last Tuesday as they posted a run-rule victory over the Caney Valley Trojans.
The PHS squad shook off lingering effects of seven losses in the five previous days by lashing out 16 hits en route to a redeeming, 14-4, annihilation of the visiting Lady Trojans. Pawhuska senior Haley Malaske pitched through her throwing discomfort and limited Caney Valley’s girls to just three hits over the abbreviated, five-inning contest.
After giving up four decisive, though unearned, runs in the opening frame of the previous day’s 8-4 home loss to Pawnee, Malaske set the CVHS girls down in order to start Tuesday’s contest. This time, the Lady Huskies plated four runs of their own in the home half of the first and took control by adding three more tallies in the second.
Malaske and sophomore Keylee Kirk managed to get hit by pitches to put the Lady Huskie offense in motion. They came around to score the game’s initial runs of the afternoon following RBI singles from Breanna Redeagle and Mary Jo Upchurch. PHS made it 3-0 on a two-out single by freshman Sydney Sellers before Upchurch stole home for the fourth Pawhuska run.
A single off sophomore Sarah Phillippi’s bat started a Lady Huskie rally in the second inning. Phillippi circled the bases on a double by Malaske, who later crossed the plate following a dropped third strike. Redeagle singled again and Alexis Martin was hit by a pitch prior to Sellers drawing a walk that forced home another run, giving Pawhuska a 7-0 advantage.
Caney Valley moved back into contention by scoring three times — despite having no hits — in the top of the third. PHS regained a strong upper hand by exploding for six runs in the bottom of the fourth, with Brittany Summers, Jordyn Wahpekeche and Sellers all providing RBI singles.
Nine different Lady Huskie batters collected base hits during the contest. Sellers led the way by banging out three. Angela Street, Hailey Davis and Baelee Postrach all hit safely for Caney Valley. Each team had one extra-base hit and both were doubles (by Malaske and Davis).
In the course of earning the pitching victory, Malaske walked three and struck out two. The senior ace of Pawhuska entered the contest with 22 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Blackwell 13, Pawhuska 3
Six days later, in a Monday home matchup with Blackwell, the Lady Huskies were plagued by errors during a 13-3 loss that dropped them to 1-9 on the year.
The visiting Lady Maroons grabbed a one-run lead in the first inning off a lead-off single, passed balls and a sacrifice fly. Blackwell built a 7-0 advantage by chasing home half a dozen more runs in the second.
Pawhuska got a leadoff single from Malaske, who was left stranded at third base following a groundout and two strikeouts. The second-inning explosion by the Maroons was fueled by four Lady Huskie errors, a hit batsmen and a pair of singles.
Martin reached base for PHS by working a two-out walk in the second. But, Blackwell pitcher Ashford whiffed another pair to keep the home team scoreless. The Maroons failed to score despite loading the bases in the third inning.
The hosts attempted to answer in the bottom of the third, when they scored all of their runs. Phillippi started things off with a single and Malaske reached base by getting hit with a pitch. A bunt by Kirk was mishandled by the Maroons, bringing home Phillippi and Malaske and getting Kirk all the way to third.
Sellers, the next batter for Pawhuska, knocked in Kirk on a groundout. Redeagle kept the rally alive with a singled before the next two PHS batters were retired on strikes.
The Maroons added to their lead by plating a pair in the fourth off an error, two walks and a sac fly. After Pawhuska went in order in the fourth, Blackwell piled on four fifth-inning runs to push their margin to 10. The Maroons had three singles that were enhanced by another PHS error and a dropped third strike.
Malaske singled again to open the Lady Huskie fifth before the game was called on the run rule following three straight outs — on a fly, a liner and a grounder. PHS finished with four base hits and committed six errors, while Blackwell hit safely seven time and erred only twice.
Ashford struck out seven batters, walked one and hit one (Malaske) with a pitch. She threw 63 strikes in 83 deliveries. Malaske gave up four hits, struck out one, hit a batter (Ashford) and walked four. Only one earned run was scored off her and just two off Redeagle, who gave up three hits, struck out a batter and walked none.
Dewey 14, PHS 1
"The Energizer Lady Bulldogger. Free swinging, runs all day. Battery Included!"
And, it was quite a battery that Dewey’s Lady Bulldoggers brought to the PHS field last Thursday when they demolished the Lady Huskies, 14-1.
Dewey catcher Kayleigh Hinkle smashed a bases-loaded home run in the sixth inning to put the bow on the win, which featured a two-hit pitching gem by the ace senior lefthander for DHS, Taylor Clark.
The Doggers scored a pair of runs in each in their initial two at-bat. And, they were impatient to score more, with three of their first four outs recorded when Dewey runners unsuccessfully attempted to steal home. The visitors were equally aggressive with the bat as evidenced by the fact that no Bulldogger batter struck out in the entire contest.
Hinkle put Dewey in front, 1-0, with a first-inning single that knocked in Bayli Brewer, who had previously singled. The next run came on Hinkle’s two-out steal of home.
In the second, Alyssa Robinson of the Doggers lined a double to left field, advanced to third on an infield hit by Kaylee Lewis and scored off an error — one of the seven committed in the game by Pawhuska. Lewis stole her way to third and came home on a passed ball to give Dewey a 4-0 advantage.
An eight-run rally in the top of the sixth put the game on ice for the Lady Bulldoggers. Lauryn Washington reached on an error, Chelsey Stull was hit by a pitch and Clark walked on set the stage for Hinkle’s line-drive grand slam over the left-field fence.
Hinkle finished a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, scoring twice and collecting five RBI. Madison Brown doubled and Casey Beaver drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the final Dewey run. Five different Lady Doggers stole bases in the game.
Clark was dominant in the pitching circle for DHS. She racked up seven strikeouts for the six-inning contest while walking four batters and hitting one. Clark lost her shutout in the final frame when the Huskies, trailing by 14, managed to put a run on the board. Wahpekeche drew a one-out walk, moved to third on a double by Kirk and scored on an RBI ground out by Redeagle.
Coach Chronister’s Lady Huskies traveled to Perry on Tuesday for a three-way matchup with the other Lady Maroons and Chisholm. PHS will have a home game Thursday against Barnsdall (with a 4 p.m. game time) and then head to Dewey for a rematch Friday (also starting at 4). Caney Valley will host the Lady Huskies in a 4:30 p.m. Tuesday contest before PHS ends next week by taking part in the Dewey Tournament.