The Lady Red competed in the Sequoyah Tahlequah Tournament on Thursday and Saturday. Grove played well throughout the weekend and finished with a record of 4-1, improving the team's overall record to 19-6 on the season.
The Lady Red are 8-2 in district play which is good enough for second place in their district with only two district games remaining. They appear to have locked up second place in the district. The Grove will celebrate their seniors on Monday night at 6:00 PM against Vinita. The Junior High team will play at 4:30 and the Junior Varsity team will play after the varsity game is completed.
Grove 1, Muldrow 0
Grove pitcher Laken Malone came within one pitch of a perfect game as the Lady Red won their first game of the day on Thursday, September 19. With two outs and a 0-0 score in the top of the sixth inning, having retired 17 batters in order, Malone worked into a full count.
The Muldrow batter fouled off several pitches before Malone threw a curveball that her catcher Ava Sarwinski caught without moving her glove. Sarwinski’s glove just sat there with the ball inside it. The Muldrow batter dropped her head and started walking toward the dugout knowing she had just struck out but stopped in shock when she heard the umpire call out, “Ball four!”
After taking a minute to convince her that it was indeed ball four, play resumed. The next Muldrow batter struck out to end the inning.
“She was so close to a perfect game,” pitching coach Drew Osborne said. “I am so disappointed for Laken. It reminds me of the Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga situation in Detroit. At least she finished with a no-hitter and we can celebrate the win.”
In 2010, Armando Galarraga completed what he thought was a perfect game. First base umpire Jim Joyce called the runner safe. The game was played before the days of replay. Replays showed that the runner was clearly out and that the play wasn’t even really close. The game is known as the “Imperfect Game” and Joyce publicly and remorsefully apologized to Galaragga for blowing the call.
The Lady Red went on to win the game in exciting fashion in the bottom of the inning. With the time limit expired and the international tie breaker on the horizon, the Lady Red were able to score a run to end the game. Sarwinski walked to reach first base and moved to second when Lauren Outhier singled through the left side of the infield. Mikalle Pair came up and hit a ground ball through the left side of the infield scoring Sarwinski and ending the game in walk off fashion.
Malone finished with a no-hitter throwing 6.0 innings and allowing the one aforementioned baserunner on a walk. She struck out 13 batters.
Grove 5, Okmulgee 0
Senior Mikalle Pair started the second game for the Lady Red. She pitched well for the Lady Red setting the tone in the first inning and never looking back. Pair threw 4.0 innings allowing just one hit, 4 walks, and had 5 strikeouts.
Elizabeth Cash had two hits for the Lady Red. Sarwinski had a double and scored a run for the Lady Red. Pair, Anastasia Pace, and Dawn Blake all added singles.
Sequoyah (Tahlequah) 1, Grove 0
This game was just another exciting game for the Lady Red in the tournament. Looking to avenge their loss against Sequoyah in the championship game of the 2018 tournament, the Lady Red fought hard to win this one. Sequoyah had an incredible year in 2018 winning 40 games and a 3A state championship. Most of that team came back for another run.
Malone started for the Lady Red and posted another strong performance for her team. Sequoyah’s starting pitcher matched her pitch for pitch. With two outs in the bottom of the 5th inning with an expired time limit, Sequoyah was able to break the 0-0 tie. A walk followed by a hit-and-run double scored the runner from first ending the game in a walkoff celebration for Sequoyah. Malone ended up with the loss throwing 4.2 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk. She struck out eight.
Ava Sarwinski had the only hit for the Lady Red.
Grove 9, Stilwell 1
The Lady Red got their offense jump started in this game putting up nine runs in just three innings. Sarwinski, Malone, Cash, and Pair paced the Lady Red at the plate.
Pair started on the mound for the Lady Red and continued with the theme of strong pitching performances. Pair gave up just one unearned run and allowed just three hits while striking out six.
Grove 3, Beggs 2
Grove was able to avenge a loss from earlier in the season at the hands of Beggs in the Beggs Festival. The Lady Red jumped on the scoreboard early scoring two runs in the first and their third run in the second inning. Sarwinski got things going with a hit followed by a bunt single from Lauren Outhier. Cash and Malone drove the runs in giving the Lady Red the lead.
Malone threw 6.0 strong innings for the Lady Red allowing two unearned runs. She gave up just two hits and walked two. Malone had 11 strikeouts on the day.