Anyone who saw Comanche softball play at the beginning of the season and hasn’t seen it since may be in for a shock.
The Lady Indians are starting to put things together after struggling early on in the season. An example of that was during the preseason scrimmages at Duncan when Comanche fell by run-rule to Frederick.
Times have changed and the Lady Indians are showing they’ve changed, too, evidenced by a 3-1 loss to Class 2A No. 11 Frederick Tuesday night. Comanche split its two games of the day, defeating Tishomingo 3-2 earlier, picking up its second win of the season. Frederick defeated Tishomingo 5-4 in the second game.
“I’m not gonna say I’m satisfied, but I can live with it,” Comanche head coach Chris Dobbins said. “We’re playing much better right now and we’re starting to figure some things out.”
In the first game of the three-way, Comanche jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Micah Allen-Smith walked to lead off the game. Hailey Block singled, moving Allen-Smith to third and Block stole second to put both runners in scoring position for Staci Townsend. Townsend laced a double to left center score both runs.
Tishomingo got a run back in the second, but Comanche got the run back in the fourth. Townsend came through again, this time with the bases loaded and two outs. She hit a swinging bunt in front of the plate and everybody was safe on the play, scoring a run from third.
Tishomingo rallied in the sixth for another run, cutting the lead to 3-2, but Laney Ledford got out of the jam and closed the door in the ninth for the win.
“Laney has come a long way,” Dobbins said. “She’s learning a lot. She’ll never dominate anybody, but she’s learning how to pitch. She’s moving the ball around, keeping the batters off balance and getting ahead in the count. That’s real big for her.”
The Lady Indians found themselves in a 1-0 hole after the top of the first against Frederick, but a leadoff triple by Allen-Smith gave them a spark. Townsend reached on a bunt single with one out, scoring Allen-Smith from third.
Ledford held the Lady Bombers’ bats silent until the fourth. Frederick scored two runs in the inning to take a 3-1 lead it would never give up. Lady Bomber pitcher Emily Wasinger had speed the Lady Indians had trouble catching up with, but Dobbins said he was still pleased with the performance.
“That was one of the better pitchers we’ll face,” he said. “We gave up five runs in two games ... I can live with that.
“I’m real proud of all the girls tonight, they showed how hard they’ve worked. Staci is a senior and she’s leading this team. She’ll call team meetings and tell me not to be there. Where would we be without Micah? She’s one of our better hitters and gets on base a lot. Hailey in the two-hole does a great job push bunting, slapping the ball and hitting when I need her to. She moves Micah over and then Staci comes up in the three-hole and knocks her in. That’s how we work.
“And our defense is playing much better. Our outfield didn’t drop a fly ball tonight and we were doing that earlier this year. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not done.”
— Ben Whitehead is the sports editor for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 255-5354, Ext. 165, or via e-mail at email@example.com.