The Grove Lady Red softball team traveled to Jay Tuesday night and won an important conference game over their archrival the Lady Bulldogs by a score of 9-6 in eight innings.
Aside from battling one another, each team had to also contend with a drizzling rain that fell for the entirety of the contest as well as strong wind gusts that made every fly ball a guessing game for the fielders.
Jay controlled the begining stages of the game and took an early lead in the first inning when senior Sam Robertson hit a three run homer that scored teammates Alexis Blankenship and Lauren Wilson.
The Lady Bulldogs consolidated their lead in the fourth when catcher Leah Eike scored on an RBI to put Jay up 4-0.
The Lady Red began the top of the fifth with a single from senior Margaret Pogue and sophomore Shea Scott followed her on base with a double. From there Katelin Threet sent a shot through the infield that scored both Lady Red runners and cut the Jay lead in half.
Grove started their next offensive side, at the top of the sixth, with three consecutive base hits from freshman Alex Woods, senior Shandi Crossley, and freshman Andrea Gonzales to load the bases. With Stacia Sarwinski at bat a wild throw back from the Jay catcher to Lady Bulldog pitcher Robertson allowed for Woods to steal home and cut the lead to one.
Sarwinski went on to groundout but teammate Pogue connected for a strong hit that drove Crossley and Gonzales home to put Grove ahead by one 5-4.
The Lady Red added another run at the top of the seventh, Crossley produced a single that drove in teammate Rachel Allington, to consolidate their lead by two going into the bottom of the scheduled seven inning contest.
With one out Lady Bulldog Wilson hit a double to start a Jay rally. Wilson was followed at the plate by Robertson who scored her second homerun of the game with a shot over the centerfield wall. And although the Lady Red gloves rebounded quickly to end the side the damage had been done and the game entered into an extra frame.
Grove wasted little time in their offensive side of the eighth inning. Sarwinski reached base on a walk, after a long battle with pitcher Robertson, and Pogue followed her into the diamond with a single. Sophomore Katie Stout executed a nice bunt and reached base on a mishandled catch from the Lady Bulldog first base. In all the excitement Sarwinski flew around the bases to score a run and put Grove back on top.
While the next Lady Red batter, Scott, was at the plate, the Jay catcher tried to catch Pogue off at third base. The throw was never there and while the ball rolled down the left field foul line both Pogue and Stout stormed home to put Grove ahead by three.
Grove faced the bottom of the Jay line up in the eighth and the Lady Bulldog batters managed to load the bases while suffering two outs. But the Grove gloves responded to the pressure and scored the third out of the side while Jay’s power hitter Robertson waited in the on-deck circle.
Gonzales pitched the eight-inning distance for Grove and recorded three strikeouts.
Robertson went the distance in the circle for Jay and posted six strikeouts.
From here the Lady Red move onto the Grand Lake Tournament for the weekend while the Lady Bulldogs travel to the Claremore Tournament.
Monday September 8th will be a date to mark on the calendar as the two rivals meet up again for a rematch at Lady Red Field.