By JIMMY STINSON
MUSKOGEE — The best of the best in area slowpitch softball players descended on Muskogee High School's Rougherettes Park on Tuesday night, with the South squad taking an 18-7 victory over the North in the 2013 version of the Green Country All-Star Game.
The game consisted of all stars selected by area high school coaches. The South squad was made up of players from Muskogee, Tahlequah, Poteau, Vian, Oktaha, Sequoyah, Hulbert, and Okemah. Tulsa Union, Henryetta, Jenks, Jay, Locust Grove, Muldrow and Warner made up the North squad.
Batting as the visitors, the North struck early with three runs in the first inning, all coming with two outs. Jenks’ Macklin Hitz singled and Jay's Tiffany Hogshooter reached on an error. Brianna Trujillo from Tulsa Union plated both runners with a two RBI single to left field. Trujillo scored on an RBI single by Locust Grove's Beki Hendrickson.
The South would need only the first two at-bats to put the game out of reach, scoring five runs in the first inning and four more in the second to take control.
All-Star game MVP, Shelby Standridge of Poteau, scored the first run of the game for the South after reaching base on a fielder's choice. Back to back singles by Vian's Joehanna Morris and Paige Gann of Muskogee loaded the bases for Lady Rougher Jessi Venable, who picked up the RBI with a hard shot to left field. Morris, Gann and Venable all scored on a hard hit ball off the bat of Sequoyah's Kara Linch that the North shortstop could not come up with.
In the second inning for the South, back-to-back singles by Susie Davis of Sequoyah and Janet Bowers of Hulbert put runners in scoring position for Muskogee' Morgan Taylor, who delivered a one out hit to score Davis. Tahlequah Tiger Britney Johnson — who went 3 for 4 with two runs batted in — singled to load the bases for Standridge, who cleared the bases with a hard liner deep to left center field.
The North added two more runs in the third inning. Green Country Player of the Year, Kayla Patterson from Tulsa Union, reached on a single and scored on a single by Hitz. North could only plate two more runs against the South pitchers.
The South was not finished scoring and plated four runs in the fourth inning, four more in the fifth inning and one in the seventh inning. Lynch led off the fourth with a single, followed by a single from Oktaha's Kelly Easterling. Gabba Wilson of Poteau picked up an RBI on a single up the middle. Easterling scored on a hit by Muskogee's Hannah Alexander and Alexander scored when Davis singled up the middle.
Standridge finished the game going 2-for-4 with three RBIs for the South. Johnson and Morris were both 3-for-4, Morris driving in a pair of runs and Johnson plating one. Taylor was 2-for-3, Gann was 2-for-4 and Venable 1-for-4, each with an RBI. Taylor was the winning pitcher for the South.
Green Country Coach of the Year was announced before the game and the honor went to Tulsa Union's Stephen Randall.