In a tournament that included a very early and a very late game Saturday at Elliott Field, the Chickasha High School baseball team finished the Chickasha Tournament with a 2-2 record, finishing with a 9-5 win over Duncan on Sunday afternoon.
The Fightin' Chicks began the tournament Friday by beating Piedmont 10-3 in six innings. Saturday's results weren't as favorable for the host team, and Chickasha lost an 11-9 game to Sterling, with first pitch taking place at 9 a.m.
The team hung around the field all day long, as it waited for its second game of the day and the final game of the evening, an 8 p.m. matchup with Edmond Santa Fe. The game featured an exciting late rally by the Chicks, but they came up short and lost 3-2.
Looking to salvage a .500 finish in their home summer tournament, Chickasha's offense showed up in a big way during the win over Duncan on Sunday.
The weekend was marred by the Chicks losing two winnable games on Saturday. In the morning game, Chickasha lost against Sterling after having a sizable lead late in the contest.
"We have a 6-0 lead going into the fifth inning, and we gift-wrap that one and give it away," head coach Brad Gore said.
Chickasha ended up losing the game by two runs.
Saturday night's thriller against Edmond Santa Fe was anything but thrilling for the first six innings. Chickasha scored it's first run of the game in the top of the first, and proceeded to go scoreless for the next five frames. The Wolves tied the game in the second inning, and took a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Possibly as a result of a long day, the Fightin' Chicks seemed to lack energy for most of the game. The dugout was rather quiet, and the Chickasha batters weren't putting up much of a fight at the plate.
That all changed in the seventh, however.
"We just kind of went through the motions until the seventh inning, then we decided we wanted to play hard," Gore said. "In the summer time, it's all up to the players, they have to come out ready to play."
The Chicks were ready to play late against the Wolves. Luke Dixon led off the inning with an exciting infield single, a hustle play that ignited he and his teammates more than anything that had happened at that point in the game.
Cade Morris followed the single up with a sacrifice bunt, and Dixon managed to advance all the way to third base.
Lane Smith then made what looked like it could end up being the play of the game, an RBI triple that tied the game and gave the Chicks the winning run on third with only one out.
The Chicks couldn't get the hit or deep fly ball they needed to score Smith in the inning, but had stayed alive for another inning, tying the game at 2-2.
Edmond Santa Fe went scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, and Chickasha also went scoreless in the top of the eighth.
Morris had started the game and pitched five innings, and Ryker Steelman came in during the sixth, pitching two scoreless innings. Steelman faced the first batter in the eighth inning, who reached base on an error. Steelman got behind in the count against the second batter and was replaced by Lane Smith, who ended up walking the hitter.
"I thought Cade threw a pretty good ball game, and then Ryker came in there and pitched well in a big situation," Gore said.
With runners on first and second and no outs, the Wolves advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Head coach Brad Gore elected to intentionally walk the next batter to load the bases.
Smith struck out the next batter for the second out, but with the bases loaded, he walked in the game-winning Edmond Santa Fe run and ended the game.
The walk that was Chickasha's undoing wasn't the first. Chickasha pitchers walked seven batters in the fifth through the eighth innings, something that Gore said he wants to work on for the remainder of the summer.
"We're trying to work on getting pitchers to throw strikes, get ahead, and learn how to pitch," Gore said. "We don't have Lane every time, and we've been pitching a lot of young guys, so we've been mainly focusing on guys hitting their spots and learning how to pitch a little bit."
Chickasha played a solid all-around game against Duncan. Steelman got the start on the mound and pitched the entire game. The Chicks had two big innings, scoring four runs in the second inning and five in the fifth. In both innings, every Chickasha batter had a turn at the plate.
In addition to pitching the complete game, Steelman went 3-for-3 with an RBI at the plate.
The Chicks return to action tonight at 6 p.m. for a home doubleheader against Marlow. Chickasha also played Tuttle on Monday night at Tuttle High School. Check ChickashaNews.com for the results.