Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Shawnee — The second-ranked Asher Lady Indians couldn’t find a way to slow down No. 7 New Lima in a first-round matchup at the Class A State Tournament early Wednesday morning at The Fields at Firelake.
And unfortunately for coach Tari Dubler’s club, Asher couldn’t keep pace with the Lady Falcons either in a 12-7 loss.
The upset saw Asher’s 10-game winning streak and its season come to a premature end while New Lima advanced at 24-5.
The Lady Falcons pounded a whopping 19 hits, including five in a huge five-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth that snapped a 7-7 tie.
The Lady Indians piled up 14 hits themselves but stranded 13 base runners, including eight over the final four innings.
“They just got timely hits and we didn’t,” said Asher head coach Tari Dubler. “We just couldn’t string anything together and left too many runners on base. You can’t leave that many on and expect to win.”
Although Asher had its sights set on battling for a state title, Dubler said the first-round upset can’t take anything away from what the Lady Indians accomplished during the 2014 season while being led by their four seniors — Kayla Riddle, Tristan Milburn, Sarah Wauahdooah and Malerey Luman.
“It’s been a great season with a great group of girls. Despite the way it ended, they’re just winners. They know how to win. They love to play the game. I appreciate every single one of them,” she said. “This group of seniors are special and we’re going to miss them. But hopefully the rest of them will be back up here (at state) again next year.”
Asher scored four runs in the top of the first inning to grab an early lead. Milburn led off with a single and after Tarin Dubler walked, Sarah Wauahdooah hit an RBI double that gave Tupelo its first run of the game. Dubler would score on an error, while Wauahdooah raced home on Shelby Fleming’s base hit to put Tupelo on top 3-0.
Fleming would later score on an RBI single by Marissa Cheatwood that gave the locals a 4-0 advantage.
New Lima scored four runs of it own in the bottom of the first on a two-run single by Sydney Harjo and RBI hits from Kenzey Bryan and Renae Jackson.
Asher tallied a single run in the top of the third when Fleming singled and later scored on a New Lima error to give the Lady Indians a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Bryan hit an RBI double and scored on a Kylie Francis base hit to put New Lima ahead 6-5 in the seesaw affair.
Asher regained the lead in the top of the fourth when Fleming and Haley Odell drew bases loaded walks to put the Lady Indians in front 7-6.
Jackson’s laser beam solo home run in the bottom of the fifth knotted the score again at 7-apiece.
During New Lima’s five-run, sixth-inning volley, Bryan had the big hit, driving home three runs with a double to the wall in center field. Joanah Harjo-Tiger and Jaylynn McKane also had RBI hits.
McKane was New Lima’s hit leader with a 4-for-4 showing while Bryan finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs. Harjo-Tiger also had three hits and scored two runs.
Fleming finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs for Asher while Milburn, Luman and Wauahdooah added two hits apiece.