Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

August 15, 2012

Storms washes out potential Sequoyah victory

FORT GIBSON — What looked like a lefty-lefty pitching duel on paper between the Sequoyah Lady Indians and the Fort Gibson Lady Tigers on Tuesday turned out to be that — for the most part.

Sequoyah’s Jessica Bluebird held the Lady Tigers to three hits and one run in four innings while Fort Gibson’s Madison Highley succumbed to timely hitting by the Lady Indians as Sequoyah built a 5-1 lead when the game was called in the top of the fifth due to lightning. The game was officially ruled a no contest.

“It doesn’t go down as a loss,” said FGHS coach Jaime Snyder. “We’re gonna find a time later in the year to make it up. We wanted to finish it out because you never know, but (Bluebird’s) pitching had us off balance for sure.”

Sequoyah, 6-1, grabbed the early lead in the top of the first when Baylee Ratliff reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to third on a single to right by Megan Towie and scored on a groundout by Taylor Thompson to third, racing home after FGHS third baseman Raelee Waltman looked her back.

Bluebird began her pitching performance by retiring the first two hitters in the bottom of the frame before Emilee Rigsby reached on an infield single. After that hit, Bluebird retired the next seven batters while the Lady Indians built their lead.

“We talked about keeping them off balance before the game,” said Sequoyah coach Jeff Turtle. “They hit a couple hard but Jessica did her job. Her changeup wasn’t there for a strike, but at least she threw it enough to put it in their minds that she has it”

The Lady Indians made the score 3-0 in the third on an RBI-triple by Towie and a single by Thompson. After Sequoyah made the score 4-0 in the fourth on a single by Kara Linch, Fort Gibson (4-1) got to Bluebird for a run in the bottom of the inning leadoff single by Brooke Benham, who advance to third a sacrifice and a groundout, and came home on a single by Waltman cutting the deficit to 4-1.

After Sequoyah got that run back in the top of the fifth with two outs, the skies lit up and the umpires called the game

“The best pitch I had today was my outside low fastball,” Bluebird said. “That and my curve were my two best pitches. I also relied on my defense to do its work.”

While the Lady Indians didn’t mash the ball all over the plate, Turtle was quick to point out that when the opportunities arose, his team responded.

“We scored a couple with two outs,” Turtle said. “We were more aggressive on the bases and bunted a little bit. We did well and we don’t see many lefties. We just worry about getting on base and today we did a good job of it.”

Both teams are off until Thursday when Fort Gibson travels to Stilwell for a 5:30 p.m. matchup while Sequoyah hosts Westville at 4 p.m.

– Ronn Rowland is a sports writer for the Muskogee Phoenix.

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