Tahlequah broke a string of four consecutive losses with a split on the final day of the Tahlequah Festival Saturday.
The Lady Tigers defeated Fort Gibson, 14-9, in Saturday’s opener before falling to Jenks, 3-1, for a second time in as many days. Tahlequah will enter Tuesday’s District 5A-4 matchup at home against McAlester at 11-11 overall and 6-2 in district play under head coach Chris Ray.
The 14 runs against Fort Gibson were the most the Lady Tigers have scored since they blasted Tulsa Will Rogers, 22-0, on Sept. 10.
Tahlequah scored 11 of its runs during the third inning, highlighted by an inside-the-park grand slam from freshman Jersey Retzloff, to go up 14-3. The Lady Tigers had seven of their eight hits in the inning and also took advantage of four Fort Gibson errors. Charlea Cochran singled twice, Paisley Qualls and Hailey Enlow each singled, Jayley Ray knocked in a run with a single, and Mikah Vann drove in a pair of runs on a double.
The Lady Tigers, led by Cochran and Vann with two hits apiece, along with Retzloff’s game-high five RBIs, struck first in the home-half of the first with three runs that all came with two outs. Ray and Qualls both walked with the bases loaded to force in the game’s first two runs, and Retzloff was hit by a pitch, forcing in Cochran from third base.
Fort Gibson matched Tahlequah with three runs in the second and got its final six runs during the fourth.
Vann allowed seven earned runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings as the starting pitcher. Vann recorded five strikeouts and issued three walks. In relief, Bailey Jones struck out the only batter she faced in the fourth.
In the loss to Jenks, the Lady Tigers received two hits each from Lexi Hannah and Madi Matthews and got their only run during the third inning when Matthews crossed home plate on an error.
Just like on Thursday, the Lady Trojans got the job done in an International Tiebreaker, scoring twice in the eighth.
Jones went the distance in the pitcher’s circle, giving up one earned run on six hits. The senior had six strikeouts and issued one walk.
The Lady Tigers, who have lost five of their last six games, will next get a McAlester team that is 6-9 overall and 3-3 in 5A-4. Tahlequah won the first matchup, 12-0, on Aug. 25 in McAlester.