By Evan Grice
Sometimes, softball can be a very cruel game.
Moments after surrendering the district title by virtue of run differential, Piedmont also surrendered its 7-6 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Kelsi Williams slapped a walk-off RBI single to center field, giving the Lady Antlers an 8-7 victory.
With the win, the Lady Antlers sweep Piedmont for the first time since 2005.
“We don’t make routine plays, and that’s been the story of our season,” Piedmont coach Rick Scott said about the seventh inning. “If we make routine plays, Deer Creek doesn’t have a runner on first in the seventh. If we don’t walk a batter, and throw a pitch that’s three or four feet off the outside of the plate, we win this game. It’s not just one person, it’s everyone and everything just snowballed into this.”
With two outs and a 0-2 count, it looked like Piedmont was going to escape and live to play in extra innings, giving them one more chance at the district title.
Unfortunately, Williams connected with a pitch from Courtney Anderson, which found its way just out of the reach of Jamie Lowrie in center field, setting off a wild celebration from the Deer Creek players and the fans as well.
It was yet another twist in a game which saw momentum swing back and forth throughout, as Piedmont found itself in position to be district champions up 7-3 after the top of the fifth inning.
Ashlyn Ratliff gave the Lady Wildcats the lead in the fifth, when she was nailed in the head while running to first base after laying down a bunt. Cassadie Ray would score the run in the process.
Jamie Lowrie then made it a 5-3 game with an RBI single up the middle, before she too would also be nailed by an errant throw, this time at second base, which allowed her to score after a hit from Madi Morris to make it 6-3.
Piedmont’s seventh run of the game could be classified as a stroke of genius and hustle.
With two outs in the inning, Kassidy Scott stepped to the plate, and laid down a squeeze bunt, which Morris scored on just under the tag to make it a 7-3 game.
Deer Creek however, would cash in on mistakes by the Lady Wildcats, scoring two runs on wild pitches, along with an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 7-6 going into the seventh inning.
Kassidy Scott and Lowrie had the RBI hits in the third inning, which helped give PHS a 2-1 lead, before Robbie Collins scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1.
Bailey Thompson gave DCHS a 1-0 lead when she scored on a wild pitch in the first inning.
Deer Creek tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Emily Watson got the win on the mound for the Lady Antlers, throwing a complete game. She struck out 14 batters on nine hits with two walks and seven runs allowed.
Courtney Anderson took the loss on the mound for Piedmont, throwing 3 2/3 innings of work. She allowed five runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Starting pitcher Jamie Lowrie went 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
“We got to get up and be ready to play at the Chickasha tournament on Friday,” Coach Scott said. “We’ll play Mustang and Southmoore and those are good teams. I let Coach (Bobby) Burke do most of the talking after the game and I just told him ‘We’ve got to get better on the fundamentals.’”
Piedmont will meet Mustang Friday at Noon and Southmoore at 4 p.m. at the Chickasha Tournament.