By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
OKLAHOMA CITY — There’s an expression: It all comes out in the wash.
Friday, for Moore, at the Class 6A state softball tournament at Hall of Fame Stadium, it finally, came out in the wash.
Five years removed from the program’s last Class 6A fast-pitch crown, the Lions will happily take their 3-0 victory over Broken Arrow and meet Edmond North at 4 p.m. today for all the marbles.
“We stayed calm, we knew we could do it,” Moore leadoff hitter Caiti Hall said. “They kind of stressed out and were throwing balls everywhere.”
Something like that.
Already, Moore had claimed the clear best of it. Through six innings, the Lions had five hits to BA’s three and made one of their outs at home plate while the Tigers, only once, on a passed ball, had even put a runner on second base.
In the circle, Moore starter Jenna Hall had been dominant, setting down five Tigers on strikes while BA’s Elena Gambill had failed to strike out a single Lion.
The pressure had indeed been on, and yet the game was still stubbornly scoreless entering the top of the seventh inning.
But that would change.
Hannah Lynch led off with a hit up the middle. Next, trying to sacrifice, Kristen Prieto laid down a bunt that threatened to become a single. As runner and ball converged on first base, BA’s Sam Riess couldn’t handle the throw. Then Halle Melone sacrificed the runners to second and third.
Next, Jazmine White squeeze bunted and BA catcher Theresa Collins made an outstanding play, getting out of her crouch with cat-like quickness to field the bunt on a hop with her arm outstretched while standing just in front of the plate, before reaching back to tag Lynch, who did all she could to avoid the tag in vain.
So, the Tigers (30-4) had new life, but the Lions’ (34-2) pressure finally took its toll as Gambill, all of a sudden, couldn’t find the strike zone.
A walk to Qianna Harrison loaded the bases. A four-pitch walk to Tianna Gutierrez made it 1-0. Then Hall’s two-out single, her third hit of the day, brought two more home. A wild relay to the plate put Hall on second base. That’s where it ended, but it was quite enough.
“It’s kind of frustrating (when the score remained 0-0), but you learn to get through it,” Lynn said, “because I believe my team will always come through for me.”
Lynn finished allowing four hits and striking out six without walking a batter. Gambill allowed seven hits, walked four and hit a batter.
Moore coach Stephanie Riley has been an assistant on staff for several Lion fast-pitch and slow-pitch state titles, but doesn’t have one of her own since taking over the fall program from Robert Wakefield in 2009.
“It would be fabulous,” she said of winning today. “I became head coach with these seniors their freshman year. So I’ve had them for four years. It would be a great year.”
Clay HorningFollow me @email@example.com
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.