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OKLAHOMA CITY —
When the Duncan Lady Demons earned a berth in the state tournament, it was the culmination of a season-long dream for every member of the squad.
Unfortunately, the Grove Lady Ridgerunners turned the happiness of the moment into a complete nightmare Thursday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
An early 6-0 hole, combined with six total errors in the game, proved to be too much for the Lady Demons to overcome, as they were eliminated in the state quarterfinals, 10-0 in five innings.
“Obviously everyone on the team would say they’re disappointed in our effort tonight,” Duncan coach Robert Cowan said. “I still think Grove will probably go on to win the whole thing. We didn’t play well, but we had some base hits. Grove just took advantage of our errors tonight. I don’t know how many we had, but it was too many.”
When Taylor Rupe crossed home plate for the 10th run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, it brought Duncan’s season to an unexpected and sudden end.
Ironically though, Rupe’s run was caused by the one thing which hindered the Lady Demons all night: errors.
The first occurrence happened in the bottom of the first when a miscommunication on a throw back to the mound, led to the ball ending up in center field.
Ashleigh Tramel was more than happy to take advantage, which gave Grove a 1-0 lead.
Two more errors dug the Lady Demons into an even deeper hole in the bottom of the second inning.
A routine pop-fly turned into disaster, before a fielding error plated two more runs for the Lady Ridgerunners, making it 6-0 at the time.
Despite the errors though, Duncan managed to have two quality opportunities to score.
With runners on first and second and one out in the top of the first, a strikeout and groundout ended the Lady Demons rally.
Then, with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, Grove managed to shutdown DHS’ scoring attempt yet again.
Mason Jeffries and Emilee Iverson brought in GHS’ other three runs in the first inning, as the Lady Ridgerunners led 4-0.
Taylor Dodson, Morgan Knox and Lacy Records had Grove’s other three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Autumn Parker (21-12) took the loss for the Lady Demons on the mound. She allowed eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk in five innings of work.
Jessica Walker (25-3) got the win for Grove in the circle. She allowed just four hits with five strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work.
“I thought their (Grove’s) pitcher was really good,” Cowan said. “Anyone who has 261 strikeouts entering the game is obviously tough. This game was more about our defensive showing and just way too many errors for this team.”
Duncan ends its season with an overall record of 25-14.
The game was also the last time seniors Courtney Moore, Rachel Cooper and Brieanna Webb will take the field for the Lady Demons.
“I told the girls in our post game meeting, the majority of people didn’t think they would make the state tournament,” Cowan said. “They played much better the last three weeks. I’m disappointed in this game, but proud of the effort they gave all season. We’re really going to miss Courtney (Moore), Rachel (Cooper), and Brieanna (Webb).”
GROVE 10, DUNCAN O
R H E
Dun. 000 00 - 0 4 6
Gro. 500 01 - 9 8 2
Autumn Parker and Berkley Faulkner. Jessica Walker and Ashleigh Tramel. WP: Walker (25-3) LP: Parker (21-12). 2B: Emilee Iverson (GHS), Morgan Knox (GHS), Harley Caswell (GHS), Tramel (GHS). 3B: Megan Freeman (GHS).