The Duncan Banner

July 18, 2013

Local rivals Velma-Alma, Waurika split opening game

Sean Gorman
The Duncan Banner

MARLOW — The Velma-Alma and Waurika softball traded blows from start to finish in their summer league game Thursday at Southwest Park, and in the end the clubs were too evenly matched for a winner to be declared.

Enduring sweltering temperatures and high humidity, the local rivals went back and forth early and often on the scoreboard, resulting in a 6-6 tie.

The Lady Comets made the first move in the top of the first against Waurika pitcher Karrington Morris, racing out to a 4-0 lead in the game’s opening frame.

Giving herself some early insurance, starting pitcher Nikki Wright brought home V-A’s first run with a fly ball double to deep right center that scored Jordan Layn, who had gotten on base on a line single to right.

Two batters later, Carly Richardson added to the advantage with a sharply hit double of her own to deep left field, which scored Jesse Anderson and Wright. V-A’s final run of the inning came immediately after when Sidney Lewis notched a single to right field that scored Richardson.

“I liked our fight today,” Lady Comets coach Lacy Darity said. “We came out swinging aggressive in the first inning.”

 The Lady Eagles did not get rattled from the slow start, responding with some offense of their own in the inning’s bottom half. Morris scored Waurika’s first run when she came home from third on a ground ball hit by Kirstin Berthiaume and Skylar Bartling cut the lead down to one with a two-run line single to right field. Berthiaume and Megan Wade scored on the Bartling hit after reaching base.

With the bases loaded two batters later, Tylr Gunter showed patience at the plate when it counted most, drawing a game-tying walk that brought home Hannah Wade.

Just minutes after being down four runs, Waurika completed the early comeback when Gunter came home on a passed ball to give the Lady Eagles a 5-4 edge.

“Hitting wise, I think we’re stronger hitters than we showed, but we found a way on and found ways to score,” Waurika coach Ivy Fitzgerald said. “Overall, I feel like we did really well, but there’s always room for improvement.”

Each team failed to score in the second, but the bats went back to work in the third.

V-A’s Wright continued to play well at the plate, tying things up at five on an RBI single to center field that scored Kyndel Brown. In the bottom of the third, Waurika reclaimed the lead once again when Bartling plated Karrington on an RBI single of her own.

With its backs against the wall, the Lady Comets responded right away, as Lewis scored the game’s final run on a ground ball up the middle. Velma-Alma couldn’t score after that, securing a tie.

Richardson stayed strong on the hill for the Lady Comets, allowing one run in two innings of work after filling in for Wright.