CHECOTAH – In a game that did not affect the post-season standings, the Lady Wildcats (13-11) fell short to the Hilldale Hornets (23-2) Monday afternoon with the Hornets coming out on top 6-1 with a late innings rally.
A pitcher’s duel through four innings between the Hornets Makayla Williams and Wildcats Alexis Hamilton was broken up in the top of the fifth when the Hilldale bats finally came alive.
Hornets coach Darren Riddle said, “We had some really bad at bats that we got to get worked out before tomorrow”. The tomorrow coach Riddle is referring to is Hilldale’s final 4A-6 contest Tuesday with Verdigris (22-6) to determine the number-one seed in the OSSAA 4A regional playoff series.
Shortstop Celeste Wood opened the inning for the Hornets with a double to center. After one out Drew Riddle singled to score Wood for the first run of the game. Wood also contributed six put-outs at shortstop for the Hornets. Hilldale maintained the attack with singles by Keeley Ibarra and Ryana Rock. After a mishandled ball by third baseman Cierra Moore from Riley Barniskoe that loaded the bases, Madi Folsom followed with a single scoring Sarah Crow and Ibarra to give the Hornets a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Ceejay Robinson singled to center followed by an Amanda Brown double putting runners on second and third for the Wildcats. Katelyn Searles reached on a throwing error by the Hornets third baseman Drew Riddle, scoring Robinson and putting Checotah on the board
Wildcats coach Ronnie Rogers said “We hit the ball well, gave their shortstop a workout. Hope things work out for us. I’ll know here in a little bit how Muldrow and Poteau come out”.
Things did work out for Checotah, as Muldrow (18-12) defeated Poteau 15-2 to lock the Wildcats in the fourth spot in 4A-5 and earn a seat in the Regionals.