Guy Ellis

The Grove Lady Ridgerunners softball team defeated the top-ranked Vinita Lady Hornets club by a score of 3-1 Tuesday evening at the Bill Morgan Sports Complex in Vinita.

“I’m really proud of our girls,” said Grove head coach Charli Duff. “It was a huge win.”

The victory moves the seasonal mark for the Grove crew to 12-10 for the season.

The win over Vinita, a team that held a 17-2 record and a top 15 4A state ranking entering into the contest, was just the tonic the Grove squad needed after a disappointing 3-1 home loss to rival the Jay Lady Bulldogs on Monday evening of this week.

Tuesday’s win for Grove puts the ladies back in the hunt for a top placing in the conference championship race and avenged a home loss to the Lady Hornet crew from earlier in the season.

“We have split with both Vinita and Jay and Miami, so our conference is kind of up in the air,” said Duff. “We will need to win out in order to be in the top three.”

Seniors Shandi Crossley and Margaret Pogue highlighted the Lady Red effort Tuesday night. Crossley knocked a three run homer in the third that brought in teammates Rachel Allington and Tori Winters.

Pogue led the defensive efforts Tuesday as the pitcher delivered nine strikeouts in the seven-inning game while giving up seven hits.

In a game that was, for the most part, a defensive struggle, Vinita starter Tosha Tyler put seven Lady Red bats to rest via strikeout while giving up five hits.

The Lady Hornets posted a run in the fifth off the power of an RBI double from Cook. In their final at bat the Grove gloves sent Vinita on a three and out spell to seal the win.

From here the Lady Red program will make preparations for the Grove Junior High Tournament, which runs today through Saturday.

Varsity action resumes Monday when the Lady Red host the Locust Grove Lady Pirates, a team they spelled 5-4 earlier in the season for a road win. The Monday action sets off a weeklong home stand for the club as Tuesday will feature two home games, one against Adair at 4:30 and another against McDonald County at 7:30.

Thursday Grove hosts the Afton Lady Eagles with a 3:30 PM varsity start.

The weekend will see the Lady Ridgerunners compete in the Oologah Tournament before district post-season play begins on Thursday the 25th.