Stonewall swan song

Stonewall senior Shelby Lackey can't quite put the tag on a Rattan baserunner Friday during a Class A Regional Tournament game. Rattan eliminated Stonewall with a 7-4 win.

Richard R. Barron - Ada, Oklahoma

The Stonewall Lady Longhorns couldn’t overcome one bad inning in a season-ending 7-4 loss to Rattan in a loser-out game Friday at the Class B Regional Tournament in Stonewall.

Coach Christie Jennings watched her squad play solid for six innings but Rattan scored five runs with only one hit in the top of the third and Stonewall was forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.

“We never quit. We fought the whole game. I told them if we were going to go out, we were going to go out swinging and that’s kind of what they did,” Jennings said.

Stonewall nearly pulled off the comeback.

After spotting the Lady Rams the 5-0 lead, Stonewall pushed across three runs in the bottom of the third.

Cheyanne Miller got things started with an infield hit and an error and a groundout left runners at second and third with one out.

Tyla Transue followed with a base hit that easily scored Miller to make it 5-1. But Bracy Thompson, who had reached on the Rattan error, thought about trying to score all the way from second, changed her mind and was ultimately caught in a rundown for the second out.

Both Shelby Lackey and Mindy Holland came up with clutch, back-to-back RBI singles to keep the inning going and cut Rattan’s lead to 5-3. But Holland was left stranded at second base when the inning ended.

In the bottom of the fourth, Neicole Thompson singled to start the inning, went to second on a passed ball and scored on Whitney Bynum’s RBI hit to center. Bynum advanced all the way to third before being stranded.

The Lady Longhorns would leave eight base runners in the contest, including five in scoring position. The locals had runners at second and third with two outs in the fifth before Rattan hurler Sam Smith escaped that jam with a strikeout.

“We stranded too many base runners,” Jennings admitted. “Every inning I felt like we were going to score, we were knocking on the door. We just could get it done.”

SHS pitcher Neicole Thompson recorded two quick outs in the top of the fifth before six-hole hitter Whit Self cranked a solo home run over the right-center field fence to push the Rattan lead to 6-3. It was her second round-tripper of the regional.

Rattan added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on Self’s sacrifice fly that plated Chass Watts, who had walked.

In the Lady Rams key five-run third, Jackie Barton delivered the only hit, but it was a big blow — a three-RBI triple. Rattan took advantage of three Stonewall errors, a hit batter and a walk in the frame. Barton had three of just six Rattan hits surrendered by Thompson.

Stonewall out-hit Rattan 8-6 but the locals didn't have a player with more than one base knock.

The Lady Longhorns reached the 20-win mark (against 14 loss) this year, an impressive feat after a slow start.

“I hate to see those three seniors (Lackey, Transue and Bynum) go out like this. But we’ve improved all season. We didn’t start out very well, but we overcame some adversity and had a good finish to the season. It’s something to be proud of,” said Jennings.