Lady Huskies defeat Nowata, 12-4, on Senior Night

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Pawhuska High School's Lady Huskies took a 12-4 decision over Nowata on Tuesday evening, Sept. 22, to finish the regular season with a record of 17 wins, 5 losses.

The Lady Huskies were a perfect 12-0 in District 2A-8 and will host a regional fast-pitch tournament.

The win over Nowata was sweeter than most, as it came on Senior Night for the Lady Huskies. The team and its fans honored five senior players and a senior team manager. The manager honored was Leigha Easley. The players honored were Shelby Laird; the McCartney twins, Landon and Tennessee; Arianna Soliano; and Laney Sweeden.

The weather Sept. 22 had been sour early on, with more than one heavy rain. The game was originally scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and likely would not have been played that day had it not been for the concerted efforts of coaches, players and parents to get the field ready. The start time was pushed back to 7 p.m., water was removed from the infield, and fresh dirt was brought in to fill an area behind first base where muddy soil had been dug up and removed.

By 7 p.m., the field was lined and shone under the lights as if nothing unusual had happened. A standing-room-only crowd energetically cheered the Lady Huskies to victory.

Nowata came close to Pawhuska in the top of the fifth inning, scoring two runs and narrowing the Lady Huskies' lead to 5-4. In the bottom of the fifth, however, the Lady Huskies blew things open, scoring five runs and taking a 10-4 lead.

Pawhuska hurler Zowie Miles held onto the single-run lead in the top of the fifth by pitching out of a jam. With two runs already in, and Nowata runners on second and third bases, Miles struck out the next hitter she saw and then coaxed a pop fly from the last hitter she faced in the frame.

Arianna Soliano began the bottom of the fifth by drawing a walk. Tennessee McCartney fouled off a bunt attempt, but straightened up on the next pitch and doubled to left-center. Landon McCartney walked, loading the bases, and Miya Curry drove in two runs with a hit to right. That made the score 7-4 for Pawhuska, and catcher Nevaeh Taylor came up with runners on second and third and nobody out.

Taylor mashed a triple to right to clear the bases of everyone but herself. It was 9-4. Taylor scored, to make the score 10-4, when Jaiden Crawford hit one back to the mound, and the Nowata pitcher threw her out.

Taylor had a very productive night at the plate. She swatted a two-run homer to center field in the bottom of the first inning to put Pawhuska up by a score of 2-0. In the bottom of the second inning, she drove home a run by beating out an infield hit with the bases loaded and two outs, making the score 3-0 for Pawhuska. Her next run-producing effort was the triple in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor had three hits and five RBIs for the evening.

Pawhuska led by a score of 4-0 after two innings. Nowata put up two runs in the top of the third inning, and the Lady Huskies answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame, when Landon McCartney delivered a bloop hit to left with the bases loaded. The score was 5-2 for Pawhuska at the end of three innings. Neither team scored in the fourth inning.

After the decisive win, a happy Pawhuska crowd gave a Senior Night salute to the players for whom this is the last season. The team will now attempt a deep postseason run.