By MATT REYNOLDS
Sequoyah’s softball team fell 5-3 in the state finals to Washington on Saturday at the Fire Lake Softball Complex in Shawnee.
This is the second year in a row the Lady Indians have made it to the state championship game in Class 3A, and took home the runner-up trophy.
“We had a great year; we just got to finish. They made the plays today and we didn’t,” Sequoyah head coach Jeff Turtle said.
Sequoyah jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when senior Kelsey Leach hit a double with the bases loaded, bringing in two runs. The Lady Indians had no trouble until the bottom of the third inning, when Washington had runners at first and third base with just one out.
Washington knocked a hard-hit ball to what looked like in the gap. Lady Indians shortstop Leach scooped up the ball and made a strong throw to first for the out, and the base runner held at third.
Sequoyah would dodge the bullet in the bottom of the third when they earned the third out on a line that was snagged by Sequoyah first baseman senior Megan Towie.
In the bottom of the fourth, Sequoyah ran into trouble again, but this time Washington would plate four runs to go ahead of Sequoyah, 4-2.
“We made too many mistakes today to win,” said Turtle.
The Lady Indians were down by two in the top of the fifth when Sequoyah struck back. Towie for the Lady Indians hit a triple with two outs to bring home a run and make it 4-3.
Washington led as the game headed to the bottom of the fifth inning. The team answered Sequoyah’s score in the bottom of the fifth with a squeeze bunt that brought a run home to give Washington a two-run lead over Sequoyah, 5-3.
In the top of the seventh with the Lady Indians down two runs to Washington, junior Taylor Thompson led the inning off with a walk. That brought up senior Jamie Linch, who hit into a fielder’s choice, giving the Lady Indians one out in the seventh. Leach would walk, putting runners on first and second base with just one out, but Sequoyah could not plate the two base runners.
“We have had trouble getting to the championship game. Now we are getting there; we just have to finish once we get here,” Turtle said.
Sequoyah logged a outstanding season this year, going 34-7. The Lady Indians will graduate three seniors: outfielder Jamie Linch, shortstop Kelsey Leach and first baseman Megan Towie.
“We only have three seniors, but they will be missed next year,” said Turtle.
Sequoyah loses the three senior starters, but the Lady Indians will have a good nucleus coming back next season.
“We are going to have most of our players back next year, ready to make another run,” he said.
Turtle stressed repeatedly that they have to “finish,” and the Lady Indians will work toward this during offseason drills.