FORT GIBSON -- Senior outfielder Hannah Thouvenel was 3-for-4 with a run scored in a battle of Tigers as Fort Gibson beat Tahlequah 2-0 to up their record to 17-8 on the season. It was a game that both coaches used to try some things out before playoffs begin in a week.
"We had a couple of starters out for various reasons and so we used some players that haven't seen a lot of action tonight," said Fort Gibson coach Joe Obregon. "The one thing I was a little frustrated with was our lack of timely hitting, what we call quality at-bats. We can't leave a bunch of runners on base (seven) like we did tonight when we get into the playoffs."
Fort Gibson touched Tahlequah pitcher Mikah Vann for 10 hits but could only push across a pair of runs. Meanwhile, Fort Gibson's Courtney Hill, another of the Lady Tiger seniors honored after the game, had another excellent performance in the circle. She gave up just three hits while striking out nine.
But Tahlequah made her earn it as she pitched out of trouble a couple of times. Once was in the first inning when Batty Danner, who had two of Tahlequah's three hits, singled and advanced to third on two wild pitches by Hill. But the Tiger hurler struck out Mia Allen to end the inning.
Tahlequah's other threat came in the fifth when Miley Enlow reached on an error to lead off the inning, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch after a failed sacrifice attempt resulted in diving grab of a pop-up bunt by first baseman McKenna Cantrell. But Hill struck out her counterpart Vann and got Jayley Ray to ground out.
Meanwhile Thouvenel wasted no time in getting Fort Gibson started in the Lady Tigers' first at-bat with a leadoff triple. She coasted home one out later on a hit by Nia Polzin. The second run came in the third inning when Thouvenel, Graci Williams and Polzin all singled with no outs to load the bases. Thouvenel was forced out at the plate on a grounder to the shortstop. Hill also grounded to short but the throw home this time was off the mark and Williams scored.
It looked like it might be a big inning for Fort Gibson but Cantrell and Erica Hornback both flied out, ending the rally.
"It was nice being able to do this on Senior Night" said Thouvenel. "There are a lot of tears and proud moments together on this field for this group of seniors."
or Tahlequah coach Chris Ray, it was a good game against a tough pitcher.
"We gave our freshman (Vann) some time in the circle today in case we need her for the playoffs, and she did a good job of keeping Fort Gibson off-balance for the most part," said Ray. "I thought we were a little too passive at the plate but that's too be expected when you're as young as we are. We didn't play very well in our tournament last weekend, so we needed this game against a tough pitcher and I think the kids grew up a little tonight."
Tahlequah (17-16) will host Muskogee next week to finish its regular season while Fort Gibson looks to take on some Class 6A opponents as they play at Muskogee on Thursday and then travel to the Oklahoma City area over the weekend where they'll play Deer Creek and Mustang.