OKLAHOMA CITY — Since Jason Trimmer took over the Roff High School softball program six years ago, he and the Lady Tigers have been on a mission.
No. 2 Roff jumped out to a 5-0 lead and had to hold off top-ranked Moss in the end for a 6-4 victory over the Lady Pirates Saturday in the championship game of the Class B State Tournament at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Roff finished the season with a 26-7 record, while Moss ended up an incredible 37-2. The Lady Pirates only two losses were to Roff. The Lady Tigers defeated Moss 1-0 on Aug. 23 at Tiger Field. Moss, coached by former Stratford boys basketball coach Mark Qualls, won 26 games in a row before losing to Roff for the second time.
It was not only the first softball state championship for the Roff softball program, it was the first state title for a girl’s team in any sport in the school’s storied history.
“In my job interview six years ago, that was one of the things that were brought up — we had never done it. That’s been my selling point to every kid that has come out for softball. You have an opportunity to be a first,” Trimmer told The Ada News amidst the postgame celebration. “There was no better timing than right now. Right now is just perfect. These girls work so hard. They just deserve it. They are the group that deserves to make history.”
Roff advanced to the title game with a pair of tight 1-0 victories over No. 7 Turner and No. 3 Whitesboro. Six runs must have felt like 100 to Trimmer and company — especially against Moss ace Willow Van Haren.
“The umpire asked me before the game if we were planning on scoring any runs today. I said maybe one or so. I honestly wasn’t prepared for us to barrel up as many balls as we did today. That girl from Moss is a great pitcher.” he said. “I will tell you it was a different vibe before the game. Maybe going over there and watching our boys succeed changed things (the Roff baseball team also won a state title on Saturday). Man, we just did the right things today.”
Saturday, Oct. 9
Roff 6, Moss 4
Roff scored the first run of the game on a Moss error in the top of the fourth inning and then tacked on three runs in the top of the fifth.
Peyton Owens started the RHS fifth-inning uprising with a line drive to right field that she hustled into a double.
Danleigh Harris followed with a run-scoring single that put the Lady Tigers on top 2-0.
Roff loaded the bases after a base hit by Camden Simon and when Kailyn Gore was hit by a pitch. Chloe Eldred followed with a two-run single that boosted the Roff advantage to 4-0.
Shelby Ensey reached on an error to lead off the RHS sixth inning and raced home on a two-out, RBI double by Harris that gave the Lady Tigers a seemingly comfortable 5-0 lead.
Moss made things interesting by scoring three times in the bottom of the sixth inning. The big hit was an RBI single by Kirby Van Haren. The Lady Pirates also took advantage of a Roff error.
The Lady Tigers scored another unearned run in the top of the seventh to make it 6-3. Moss finished with six total errors in the game.
“We usually make those plays. I don’t know what happened to us,” Qualls said. “We had a good year. Our only two losses were to Roff.”
Gracie Phillips reached on an error, went to second on a groundout and scored on a base hit by Harlee Nolan in the bottom of the seventh. But Harris — Roff’s ace pitcher — got Willow Van Haren to ground into a fielder’s choice and Whittany Spangler to ground out to Gore at second base to end the game and begin the historic celebration.
Harris struck out nine, walked three, hit a batter and allowed just two Moss hits and two earned runs. She also led Roff at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
“There is nobody better at this level. That girl dominates. I don’t think she threw a ball over the middle of the plate one time this entire tournament. She’s just a beast,” Trimmer said. “Harris is a force. And she can do it at the plate. That’s a good combination to have.”
Simon added two hits in a seven-hit RHS offense and scored a run. Eldred finished 1-for-2 with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored.
Willow Van Haren was solid in defeat for the Lady Pirates. She struck out four, walked two, hit a batter and allowed three earned runs in seven innings.
Friday, Oct. 8
Roff 1, Whitesboro 0
The Lady Tigers snapped a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning when Peyton Owens led off with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball and raced home on an RBI single by Camden Simon.
Danleigh Harris did the rest by pitching her eighth straight shutout. She struck out 10, walked none and allowed just two hits in the complete-game masterpiece.
Whitesboro ace Madison Grogan suffered the tough loss. The freshman struck out seven, walked none, hit two batters and allowed just four hits and the one earned run.
Owens finished 2-for-3 to lead Roff at the plate, while Kailyn Gore had the other RHS hit.
The Lady Bulldogs got hits from Darah Cole and Grogan.