The Grove Lady Red proved they had one problem solved on Friday afternoon., defeating the defending state champion Lawton MacArthur Lady Highlanders for the second time in two days. Unfortunately, they could not find a solution for McAlester pitcher Taylor Dewberry, falling to the Lady Buffaloes for a second time to end their season.
Dewberry allowed just four hits and struck out seven in the 1-0 win that put McAlester into the championship game against Carl Albert, who defeated Tahlequah 8-3.
"One run was the premium today," Grove head coach Jeremy Collins said. "I realized it was shaping up that way in about the fourth inning."
It was in the fourth inning that the Lady Red had their first good chance to score, when Taylor Dodson led off with an infield single then moved to third on two sacrifice bunts only to be stranded there.
Grove (31-8) would rally again in the fifth when Kaitlin Threet hit a two-out single to centerfield. Katie Stout then reached base on an error. The next batter, Ashleigh Tramel, hit a fly ball to right field to end the inning.
"She just got under it a little bit," Collins said. "If that would've dropped, it would've been big."
McAlester then followed with their only run in the top of the sixth. LaShaunda Green led off the inning with a single and then stole second. Then with two outs and two strikes Alli Eales hit a long double to right field to give the Lady Buffaloes the only run they would need.
The Lady Red would have one final shot in the seventh when senior Shae Scott singled in her final at-bat for Grove. Scott would move to second on a ground out but was standed their when Dewberry got the final two outs for the win.
"It just didn't work out today," Collins said. "[Dewberry] was really good today. She was better today than she was yesterday."
Dewberry was matched by Grove starting pitcher Jessie Walker, who struck out nine batters and allowed four hits in the game.
"I thought Jessie pitched lights out," Collins said. "She's been pitching a lot of games lately and she battled and gave us a chance."
Despite the loss on Friday, Collins rcognized just how special the season had been for the Lady Red.
"We have to be happy with where we're at. Not everybody gets to come to the state tournament. Not everybody gets down to the final four teams, some teams went down last night. We battled and gave outselves a chance to win this thing."
The Lady Red staved off elimination in their first game today when they defeated the Lady Highlanders of Lawton MacArthur for the second time, this time by a score of 4-3.
Grove took the lead in the fourth inning on a double by Andrea Gonzalez that scored Walker for the first run of the game.
But MacArthur, ranked second in the state going into the tournament, would strike right back. Sonora Zukerman would tie the score on a double over Scott in centerfield. Zukerman would later score on a wild pitch to give MacArthur a 2-1 lead.
Scott would get a measure of redemption in the fifth. Grove would start the rally with a pair of walks. Walker then hit a grounder to short, but the low throw to first was dropped, allowing Dodson to score and tie the game at two.
Scott would then follow with an infield single to score Mason Jeffries and a throwing error would score pinch runner Emilee Iverson for a 4-2 lead.
MacArthur would make things interesting in their final at-bats, getting the first two runners on base. With two outs and runners on second and third, an infield single by Macy McKay would score one run, but Courtney Ledford would be thrown out at home by Gonzalez, ending the game.