OKLAHOMA CITY — Anyone who knows Latta junior Jaylee Willis knows that she was more than thrilled to play with her teammates at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, the host of the Class 2A State Tournament.

Willis had a nice debut in the famous softball venue. She finished 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored to help No. 4 Latta defeat Wyandotte 5-0 Thursday night in a first-round matchup.

Latta improved to 32-6 on the year and was scheduled to face No. 1 Silo in a huge semifinal showdown on Friday. The Lady Bears ended their season at 34-4.

Junior Jade Sanders turned in a magnificent effort from the pitching circle for the Lady Panthers. She struck out 13, walked none and allowed just one hit — a first-inning single by Taylor Lundien. After Chelsea Hawkins reached on an error with two outs in the third inning, Sanders retired the final 13 batters she faced. During one dominant stretch, she struck out eight of 10 Wyandotte hitters.

Latta broke a scoreless tie with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning.

Brylea Russell started things off for the Lady Panthers with a triple to left field and Willis followed with her triple to right field that drove in a run. She scored on an error during the play, to put Latta ahead 2-0.

Taryn Batterton's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning gave Latta a 3-0 lead.

The Lady Panthers scored another run with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

Willis and Hailey Baber hit back to back singles that put runners at the corner. Willis later scored on another Wyandotte error to put Latta on top 4-0.

Brooklyn Ryan led off the sixth inning with a base hit and raced all the way to third on the Lady Bears' fourth error of the contest. Ryan — who finished a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs scored — crossed the plate with the final run of the game on an RBI groundout by Taryn Batterton.

Russell joined Willis with two hits in Latta's 10-hit offense.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.

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