The host Konawa Lady Tigers made short work of the Ada Lady Cougars during a Thursday afternoon matchup at the Byng-Konawa Back to School Classic fast-pitch softball tournament.
It just wasn’t quite as short as some of the Ada coaches thought.
After Konawa’s Brittany Lancaster scored her team’s fifth run in the bottom of the third inning to put the Lady Tigers on top 4-2, the umpire signaled that the game was over due to the time limit. Some Ada coaches believed they had five more minutes of playing time, but that turned out not to be the case.
According to Byng athletic director Bruce Plunk, the time limit is 60 minutes, but no new inning is supposed to start after the 55-minute mark. Technically, the game should have lasted two minutes longer after getting started at 1:47 p.m. and being called off at 2:40 p.m. (53 minutes).
“These time limit games are pretty fast,” Konawa coach Doug Isaacs said following the game.
Ada led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the third before the Lady Tigers staged a rally.
Konawa scored three times in the Tigers' half of the inning, with leadoff hitter Tarah Madron igniting the uprising by clubbing a leadoff double to the fence in left-center field. Madron stole second on ball four to Shelby Campbell, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Madron would steal home on a pitch to Rachael Sharp, who later popped up to first base for out No. 1 to put Konawa ahead 3-2.
Lancaster singled to put runners at first and second before Campbell came around to score on a wild pitch and a passed ball. It was after Chesa Coon reached on an error, allowing Lancaster to score, that the game was ruled over about 180 seconds too early.
“There was nothing about 55 minutes and no new inning on the sheet we got, but it wasn’t looking very good for us anyway right there,” said Ada head coach Scott Simpson.
Ada wasted a golden opportunity to score in the top of the first, when Brittany Lee reached safely on a dropped third strike and Lindi Robinson followed with a base hit to left field. The runners advanced on a double steal, leaving runners at first and second with no outs.
However, Madron, Konawa’s pitcher, got her teammates out of that jam all by herself by striking out the next three batters she faced. She finished with seven strikeouts in three innings of work to earn her second mound win of the young season.
“We put ourselves in a hole by striking out three times with runners at second and third,” Simpson said. “To me, you’re not going to beat anybody in any class by doing that. That was pretty frustrating.”
Madron scored Konawa’s first run of the game when she led off with a single, went to second on a groundout, stole third and raced home on an infield hit by Sharp.
Ada grabbed its 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Lee again led off the frame by reaching on a dropped third strike and was safe at second on a fielder’s choice ground ball off Robinson's bat. A double steal put runners at second and third — again with no outs. But this time, four-hole hitter Stevona Gilbert poked a single to right field, driving in a pair of runs and putting Ada on top.
Isaacs wasn’t thrilled with his team's three errors in just three innings, but he was glad the Tigers came out on top.
“The girls know when to step up, it seems like. You expect that (a few errors) early, but we’ll take the win,” he said.
Simpson said he expects his team to improve from here on out.
“We got a couple of passed balls and wild pitches that hurt us there at the end. We didn’t play very good. But it was the first time out. We’ll get better,” he said.
Thursday’s remaining tournament games at Konawa and Byng will appear in Sunday’s edition of The Ada News. Today’s schedule at Konawa includes McLoud vs. Savanna at 1:45 p.m., McLoud vs. Konawa at 3 p.m., Savanna vs. Tecumseh at 4:15 p.m., Coalgate vs. Ada at 5:30 p.m., Tecumseh vs. Ada at 6:45 p.m. and Konawa vs. Coalgate at 8 p.m.
Today’s schedule at Byng includes Prague vs. Cleveland at 1:45 p.m., Prague vs. Lexington at 3 p.m., Seminole vs. Cleveland at 4:15 p.m., Latta vs. Lexington at 5:30 p.m., Byng vs. Seminole at 6:45 p.m. and Byng vs. Latta at 8 p.m.
Saturday at Konawa, McLoud meets Coalgate at 10 a.m.; Ada takes on McLoud at 11:15 a.m.; Konawa battles Tecumseh at 12:30 p.m. and Coalgate meets Savanna at 1:45 p.m.
Pool play at Byng on Saturday begins with Latta vs. Seminole at 10 a.m.; Latta vs. Cleveland at 11:15 a.m.; Byng vs. Prague at 12:30 p.m. and Seminole vs. Lexington at 2 p.m.
A fifth place game follows at 3:15 p.m., a third place game begins at 4:30 p.m. and the tournament's championship contest is set for 6 p.m.
Back to School Classic
Konawa 4, Ada 2
ADA 020 — 2 2 1
KONAWA 103 — 4 5 3
Morganne Feeman and Kendal Johnson. Tarah Madron and Jennifer Tooley. WP-Madron (2-0). LP-Freeman (0-1). 2B-Madron (K). HL-Lindi Robinson 1-2, Stevona Gilbert 1-2, 2 RBIs (A); Madron 2-2, 2 RS, Rachael Sharp 1-2. Brittany Lancaster 1-2, Danielle Khoury 1-1 (K).