Deer Creek’s Terin Ritz and Hailey Evans gave Putnam City a dose of déjà vu in Thursday’s one-loss regional semifinal, with the pair each hitting two home runs to highlight an offensive-dominant, 11-0 Deer Creek win.
The victory pushes Deer Creek into the regional finals. The Antlers need two wins against Yukon to advance to next week’s state tournament.
Ritz and Evans got the punishment out of the way early. Ritz — hitting on a pitcher’s 0-2 count — yoinked a ball out of center field for Creek’s first run of the day. Two batters later, and now batting on a 1-0, one-out count, Evans hammered a hack out of left field. Evans’s home run quickly pushed things to 2-nil Antlers only three batters into Thursday’s contest.
If you blinked and missed it, no worries, they’d do it again.
This time Ritz didn’t lead off the inning, though. Putnam City retired the first two Antler batters to start the fourth, and they held Edmond’s leading home-run hitter on a ball-less, one-strike count before Ritz homered again. Her second solo shot of the day left through left field.
Two batters later, Evans followed, raking her first-pitch of the at-bat out of left field, too, scoring another Antler run after Caitlyn Wells bridged the gap between the two bombs with a single.
Evans and Ritz weren’t done driving runs in, either. Batting in the fifth, Ritz pushed Ashlee Hogg and Peyton Norvelle across with a single, before Evans scored Ritz’s courtesy-runner Natalie Lindsey with a two-out double. It pushed the Antlers’ advantage to 11.
All-in-all, Ritz finished with five RBIs while hitting on a perfect 4-for-4 day. Evans, keeping with the theme, was a perfect 4-for-4 too, with four RBIs and two runs scored. Macy Stockton added another three hits for Deer Creek alongside an RBI, and Caitlyn Wells, Ava Farris, Taylor Smith, Hogg and Norvelle all had hits in the dominant Deer Creek win.
Caitlyn Wells pitched for Creek in the win, throwing five scoreless, shutout innings by striking out five. She only gave up three hits and a walk, and she stranded six Putnam City runners.
Deer Creek now awaits a noon pairing with the Yukon Millers, needing two wins against them to keep their season alive.