Summer softball squad young, but shows talent

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

If a tie is like kissing your brother, then Thursday’s softball twin-bill smacked of double-smooch jeopardy for the Pawhuska Lady Huskies’ summer league softball squad.

The Lady Huskies showed plenty of potential in games with the visiting Bristow Lady Pirates and the Caney Valley Trojans. Both contests could easily have gone in PHS’ victory column, as the locals had the winning run at third when each came to a drawn conclusion.

Despite Thursday’s results, coach Brian Edwards’ squad’s summer record stood at an impressive 5 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws.

Varsity newcomers flashed offensive and defensive prowess for PHS. Against Bristow, shortstop/No. 2 hitter Tatiana Curry singled in Allyssa Reynolds and scored on a Jordyn Kitchell hit to put Pawhuska up, 2-0. The Lady Pirates took a 4-2 lead in the fifth before a Curry relay from centerfielder Kyleigh Riebel to catcher Sydney Sellers cut another rival runner down at the plate.

After Riebel walked to lead off the final inning, Curry tripled her home with a line drive down the left field line. The freshman scored the tying run on a wild-pitch ball four to Mary Jo Upchurch. A single by Sellers and intentional walk to Ashley Henley loaded the bases, but PHS failed to break the tie — and finished the contest with nine runners left on the bases.

“Our inexperience may hurt us for a while, but we could also learn enough this summer to really help us in the fall,” Edwards said. “I’m optimistic about what I’ve seen, so far.”

Henley pitched well enough to win in the opener, allowing only three hits while striking out three. In game two versus Caney Valley, the junior-to-be threw all but the last inning of the finale before Lauren Garrett took over with Pawhuska trailing, 2-1. Leadoff hits and daring baserunning gave the Lady Trojans a run in each of the first two innings, although Henley whiffed six batters in just three frames.

Curry scored the Lady Huskies’ run by singling, stealing second and advancing on wild pitches. She also snagged a high liner headed toward center to record the third out of the second.

Garrett kept the deficit at one by stiking out two and retiring the third on a come-backer. Upchurch got the home team rolling by lining a leadoff single to center, but was forced out at second base when a hard liner was knocked down by the CV shortstop. After Henley walked, Kianna Taylor was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Sierra Sellers chased across the tying run with a ground ball smashed to second. A strikeout brought the game to an end, with the go-ahead run stranded on third.

The Lady Huskies were scheduled for two games at Chelsea on Tuesday, then will travel Thursday to Sperry. On June 21, Pawhuska will host Dewey for two, followed on Thursday by a road trip to Ramona for showdowns with Caney Valley at 9 a.m. and Ketchum at 10.