The Guthrie Junior High Lady Jays softball team closed out their regular season with two suburban conference home games this week.
On Monday, the Lady Jays faced Noble and were seeking revenge from an early season close loss at their place. Savannah Ingle, an 8th-grade pitcher, allowed zero runs on 4 hits, 1 walk, and striking out seven batters. The defense had a strong showing going three up three down in multiple innings played.
Offensively, 8th graders Halle Hamilton, Brylan Shephard, Ryn McCormick, and Ingle each collected hits for the Lady Jays including a homerun blast from Shephard to lead off the third inning. The Lady Jays scored three runs defeating Noble 3-0.
Following the varsity game on, head coach Ron Gillett and assistant coach Scott Vaughan along with the team took a few moments to recognize the twelve 8th graders on both the Varsity and JV squads. Most of these girls have played for Coach Gillett for three years since entering sixth grade and, over those years, have had a remarkable impact on the team and their success.
“The 8th graders on this team maintained a standard of excellence and hard work, and they passed that down to the younger players through their dedication and leadership, both on and off the field,” said Gillette.
The Lady Jays then faced Suburban Conference opponent Piedmont on Tuesday in what turned out to be an epic 9-inning back-and-forth battle. Piedmont started the scoring with a 2-run home run in the top of the first inning, but Guthrie answered with a leadoff single in the bottom by McCormick who later scored on a sacrifice fly ball to center field by Hamilton. The Lady Jays went on top for the first time in the bottom of the third inning when Shephard homered scoring two runs thanks to a double by Emalyn Redman earlier in the inning.
With the back-and-forth battle, regulation ended with the Suburban Conference opponents tied at five a piece. In the top of the sixth inning, Guthrie’s defense showed out perfectly playing a bunt getting the batter out at first, and then doubling up the runner trying to advance to third base. It was a thing of beauty.
The score remained tied at 5-5 until the top of the eighth inning when Piedmont scored on a single to center field. The Lady Jays evened it back up in the bottom taking advantage of an error by the Piedmont defense and great base running. Piedmont threatened again in the top of the 9th inning with bases loaded but pitcher Holland McLemore continued to fight through each pitch ultimately striking out the last batter and stranding all runners on the bases.
To start the bottom of the 9th, McCormick drew a full count walk and Emalyn Redman was hit by a pitch. With two runners on, Hamilton came to the plate and hit a walk-off double scoring Ryn and edging the Guthrie Lady Jays over the Piedmont Wildcats 7-6.
After the game, Coach Gillett remarked, “This team just refused to take the loss. They battled back time after time. They never gave up, they believed in each other, and they battled until they finished with the win. They showed the poise, the determination, and the character that has helped them become winners. I am so proud of them.”
The Lady Jays close out the season with the Suburban Conference Tournament this Thursday and Friday in Del City claiming the No. 1 seed. Guthrie’s first game is Thursday at 4 p.m.
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