SHAWNEE — What was supposed to be a coronation of nearly a decade of dominance, turned into just another near miss for the Piedmont softball program.
Chickasha edged the Wildcats 1-0 Saturday at the Ball Fields at Firelake in the Class 5A state championship game on the strength of Lynnsie Elam’s two-out RBI single in the sixth inning.
“Our girls played their guts out and we lost by one run, on one play,” Piedmont head coach Rick Scott said. “Sometimes it’s just not your turn.”
Elam’s game-winning hit was setup by an infield single from Karissa Duke to lead off the Chicks half of the sixth. Duke reached base on a close call at first and advanced around to third with two outs.
“The girl (Duke) never should have never been on first base,” Scott said. “She was out.”
Elam’s hit, which just snuck through the left side of the infield, was, according to Scott, never supposed to be allowed to happen either.
“We wanted to walk her, but we just didn’t communicate it quite right,” he said. “Something happened and we didn’t and she got a hit.”
Piedmont, though, had a chance to tie the game or perhaps even take the lead a half-inning later off Chickasha ace Kelsi Gore.
Madison Giggers led off with a double into the right field corner and was sacrificed to third by Sagely McAdoo. But two infield pop-ups sandwiched around a walk, ended the inning and left the potential winning run stranded.
“We should’ve scored the run,” Scott said. “We just didn’t get it done.”
Gore, who pitched a complete game one-hitter to outduel a similar performance from Piedmont starter Kassidy Scott, retired the Wildcats in order in the seventh to give the Chicks their first state championship in program history. Piedmont, meanwhile, lost its third state title game in the last eight seasons and lost for the first since Sept. 5. The Wildcats entered the game as winners of 21 consecutive games.
“It was a great season,” Scott said. “I’m gonna say this, I wouldn’t take a state championship, I’d rather have these girls and lose, than win one with some other team.”