The Edmond Sun
A beautiful, tranquil October day seemed to breed stillness into both Collinsville and Deer Creek, as the two Class 5A teams competed in the state tournament Thursday at the Firelake ball fields in Shawnee.
With only five hits in the entirety of the game, it took Lady Antler pitcher Emily Watson’s two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning to boost Deer Creek past Collinsville 3-2 in a tournament opener.
“I was trying not to think too much and I’m glad I got a hit,” said Watson, who was the winning pitcher upping her personal mark to 24-4 on the season.
Watson didn’t have time to ponder anything, as the University of Tulsa commit jumped on the first pitch with two out for a huge clutch single through the left hole plating both Bailey Thomspon, who had beat out a bunt single from the left side of the box and Jordan Williams, who was struck with a pitch.
The two runs batted in by Watson relieved tons of pressure on the Antlers as they garnered a 3-2 edge.
“Yes, very much so,” Watson attested as to how her nerves were calmed. She walked four hitters in the initial three innings but after her big two-run swat, Watson retired six of the next seven hitters without yielding a hit or a free pass, including slamming the door on the Lady Cardinals for a 1-2-3 seventh.
Watson ended the game with a two-hitter, limiting Collinsville to a 2-for-23 (.087) day at the plate with six strikeouts.
Deer Creek, now improving to 30-7, will play at noon Friday in the semifinals against Claremore, which blanked Duncan, 3-0. Powerful Carl Albert improved to 33-1 by pummelling Lawton MacArthur, 8-1. Deer Creek is the only school to have beaten Carl Albert this year which gives the Antlers confidence should the pair face off in Saturday’s state championship at 1:30 p.m.
“Hopefully so,” Deer Creek head coach Erin Regier stated. “Maybe we can play a little more loose.
“I think we have confidence to play off of our seniors and go from there.”
Williams also scored Deer Creek’s first run when trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth. She led off the frame with a base on balls and came home with two out when a nervous Collinsville left fielder dropped Kennedy Turner’s high fly ball near the foul line.
In all, the Antlers mustered just three hits off of Cardinal pitching, batting .200 (3-for-15) as Watson and shortstop Kelsi Williams finished 1-for-3 and Thompson came in at 1-for-2. At short, Kelsi Williams made a big assist in the sixth up by just a run. With no outs and a runner at first, Williams had to hustle in toward the hole. She planted and flipped over to Lauren Coleman at second to record the out in time.
In the third, Deer Creek three-sacker Perri Cole rushed in on a nubber and made a strong throw to just get the runner. Also in the third, the catcher, Turner, fired a throw right in the bull’s-eye to Kelsi Williams to mow down a would-be base stealer at second.
The Lady Cardinals’ lone hits came from Makayla Bowman (1-for-2) and Marissa Huggins (1-for-2).