NORMAN — Five errors by the Small East led to three unearned runs and helped write an unhappy ending to the varsity careers of six area softball players in the first of three All-State Slowpitch contests Saturday at the University of Oklahoma softball complex.

The fifth Small East miscue of the day — a two-out boot by first baseman Teather Hensley of Battiest in the top of the eighth — allowed two runs to score and handed the Small West a 3-1 victory over the East, which had dominated the series in recent years.

“We just made too many mistakes,” said Tupelo’s Brian Davis, who coached the Small East. “You can’t expect to beat a good team when you give them extra outs.”

In the second game of the day, Latta’s Tosha MacCollister was hitless in three at-bats, but her Middle East team beat the Middle West, 6-3.

“You could tell she hadn’t played slowpitch in awhile,” Latta coach Jim Foster said of MacCollister, who helped Latta to its first-ever fast-pitch state tournament last fall and was part of slowpitch state tournament squads in 2004, 2005 and 2007. “She hit the ball hard a couple of times, but she didn’t get it out of the infield.”

In the small school contest, a one-out error by Roff’s Kayla Balthrop cleared the way for a two-out RBI single by Pond Creek-Hunter’s Kelsea Schultz in the third that scored Leedey’s Jocelyn Rounds and gave the West an early 1-0 lead, then Tupelo’s Kendra Pearce singled with two outs in the fifth and scored the only earned run of the game on a double to the wall in center field by Turner’s Shannon Holland to tie it.

Megan Starks of Wanette, who relieved East starter Sammy Reed of Keota in the fifth and didn’t allow a hit in two innings on the mound, gave way to Kiowa’s Sarah Hall to start the seventh. Hall pitched around the fourth East error of the contest to record a scoreless seventh, and she was almost out of a jam in the eighth before Hensley’s miscue allowed the winning runs to score.

Katie Martin of Cimarron started the rally with a one-out shot off the glove of Stonewall’s Kristie Byrd at shortstop, and she hustled the hit into a double (one of only two extra-base hits in the game) as the ball trickled into left field. Hall retired Danna Cook of Sentinel on a pop fly on the infield for the second out, then Schultz ripped a line drive to center for her second hit of the game, moving Martin to third.

Three pitches later, Arapaho’s Alison Radke hit a routine grounder at Hensley, but the ball ticked off her glove and went between her legs into shallow right field as Martin and Schultz both raced home.

Rachel Kauk, who pitched Leedey to the Class B state title this spring and who tossed four scoreless innings for the West Saturday before giving way to winning pitcher Bethany McBride of Chattanooga in the fifth, came back to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and pitched two perfect innings for the save.

Holland and Harris were the hitting stars for the East with two hits apiece, and Pearce finished 1-for-2, recording the only hit by an area player in the contest.

Balthrop, who started at shortstop in three slowpitch state tournaments and the 2006 fast-pitch state tournament in her four years at Roff, played all nine innings, moving to second base in the fifth when Byrd — an all-state performer for Stonewall in fast-pitch last fall and again in slowpitch this spring — took over at shortstop.

Tupelo’s Brittanie Williams was hitless in two at-bats but made a couple of nice plays in left field, and Starks, though also 0-for-2 at the plate, was solid in her two innings of work on the mound. Roff’s Jennifer Gordy took over behind the plate for the final three innings of the game and finished 0-for-2, although she reached base on a fielder’s choice grounder in the fourth.

Schultz was in the middle of both West rallies and finished 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored, but she was the only player with more than one hit for the West, which didn’t commit an error in the game.

Heather Martin of Tupelo was also named to the Small East squad but could not participate due to a conflict with a National Guard training session.





Saturday’s Game

At Univeristy of Oklahoma • Norman

All-State Softball

Small West 3, Small East 1

WEST 001 000 020 — 3 8 0

EAST 000 010 000 — 1 7 5

Rachel Kauk, Bethany McBride (5), Kauk (8) and Megan Baker, Chelsea Ogden (5), Baker (8). Sammy Reed, Megan Starks (5), Sarah Hall (7) and Sierra Roberts, Jennifer Gordy (7). WP-McBride. LP-Hall. 2B-Shannon Holland (E), Katie Martin (W). HL-Holland 2-2, RBI; Kendra Pearce 1-2, RS; Julie Tilley 1-2, Hall 1-2, Jenna Harris 2-2 (E); Kelsea Schultz 2-2, RS, RBI; Martin 1-2, RS; Madison Cabanis 1-3, Baker 1-2, Dani Merchant 1-2, McBride 1-2, Jocelyn Rounds 1-2, RS (W).

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