Guthrie and Piedmont met up for the biggest softball game of the week inside Class 5A and it lived up to the hype.
Both teams entered the game with undefeated district records with the winner having the inside track to a district championship. Piedmont is a perennial power and Guthrie continues to be on the rise in the softball world.
Jays head coach Booker Blakley inserted four freshmen into the Tuesday night lineup, including pitcher Kinley Duehning. In the circle, Duehning kept the Wildcats bats quiet for the majority of her five and two-thirds innings of work.
The Jays defense was stellar in the 1:46 contest, including a highlight gem from freshmen shortstop Saige Driscoll in the second inning with a diving play and solid throw to first. In the fifth inning, Piedmont appeared to have a single to right field, but Senior Elaina Clark came up firing to first to retire the batter runner for a rare 9-1 put out.
Guthrie got on the board first in the second inning with a solo blast over the left field wall from Clark. The 1-0 score remained until the fourth inning.
Duehning retired the first 10 Piedmont batters she faced before allowing a solo homerun in the fourth, but Guthrie regained the lead in their half of their fourth inning.
Clark led the inning off with a walk before advancing to second on a pass ball and then stealing third base. Freshmen Kassie Hall grounded out to the shortstop, but in the process, Clark came across the plate to give the Jays a 2-1 lead.
As good teams often do, Piedmont never did panic and put a rally together in the sixth. The Wildcats collected three hits, took advantage of two walks and scored three runs for their first lead, 4-2, of the night.
In their final at bat and needing two runs to tie and three to win, Guthrie did not go down quietly.
Sophomore McKenna Tucker began the inning with a walk. Next, Blakley went to his bench and inserted Trinity LeGrande as a pinch-hitter and delivered with a triple down the left field line to score Tucker.
Senior Eadie Jobe made her way to third base representing the tying run and freshmen Haley Gallo, who was pitched around for a walk, represented the winning run at first base, but a fly out to center field ended the game.
Guthrie out hit Piedmont, 7-5, including two hits from Gallo. Jobe, Clark, Hall, Tucker and LeGrande each collected hits.
Piedmont improves to 15-1 overall and stays unbeaten in District 5A-2 (7-0). Guthrie falls to 12-3 overall and 7-1 in the district. Both teams remain on par to host regionals as September begins.
Guthrie will have another oppurtunity with Piedmont, on the road, on Sept. 20.
Next up for the Lady Jays will be a road trip to El Reno on Thursday for a 5 p.m. district contest.