The Guthrie High School softball season has now come to an end after the LadyJays were forced to come from the losers bracket to face Collinsville for the second time in as many days, but were unable to stop the Lady Cardinals offense, losing the game 10-0.
The LadyJays fell to Collinsville on Wednesday afternoon by a score of 8-2 and were forced to play Claremore again on Thursday morning.
The LadyJays would get their first run in the bottom of the third when Josie Watson would get a hit coupled with a Claremore error to move ahead 1-0. Claremore tied the game up in the top of the fourth to even the score at one apeice.
Bailey Shaffer would give Guthrie some breathing room, as she would hit a two-run home run before Trista LeGrande scored on a fielders choice, giving Guthrie the 4-1 lead.
Watson scored on a LeGrande single and Guthrie looked to be in total control with the score 5-2 until the top of the seventh inning. In the top of the seventh, Claremore would tie the game up on one swing, as they hit a three-run home run to tie it up at five apiece.
For the second straight time, the two teams would need extra innings to find a winner. LeGrande ended the game in the bottom of the ninth inning after reaching base by a walk before Kaycie Carroll sacrifice flied to center field.
The win put Guthrie backs against the wall, having to beat tournament host Collinsville two times in a row. The Lady Cardinals started the game off fast, scoring three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning.
Collinsville added two runs over the next two innings to jump out to a 5-0 lead after just three innings to play.
The door closed for good when Collinsville hit a three-run home run to take a commanding 8-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Collinsville added two more runs, ending the game 10-0 in five innings.
"We played two really tough games against Claremore, going into extra innings both times and then we came up short against Collinsville," Head Coach Chase Langley said. "We are disappointed with how things ended. We still have a lot of things we have to work on. Having Hannah hurt and not able to pitch hurt us. All of the seniors played really well and Kaycie Carroll probably played the four best games of her whole career in this tournament. I wouldn't say we ran out of pitching, but Bailey pitched 24 innings before the Collinsville game."
With the loss, Guthrie finished 20-13 on the year. That was one win better than last year's campaign where the LadyJays finished 19-16. While it was only one game better, this year's squad played a better brand of softball. They were in almost every game they played. Winning the big game is something this team couldn't do and it is something Langley says they need to learn.
"We need to learn how to win the big games," Langley said. "We had trouble winning the big games against those good teams. We handled the games we were supposed to win, which was something we didn't really do last year."
The LadyJays finished just a game away from making it to the state tournament. They finished third in the district. This season should be looked at as a success and a building block for the future.
"I think it was a successful season," Langley said. "We had a lot of close games that could have gone either way. We beat Claremore who was probably the best team we have beat all year. We will have a lot of spots to fill next year. Whenever you lose four seniors who have started for three or four years like we did, it will be tough to replace. We have some talented young freshman who will have to get better over the off season. We have about six or seven eighth graders who are going to come in and challenge for starting spots. We will be a lot younger next year. We will also be a lot faster next year. It will take a lot of work to replace these four seniors. They are leaving some big shoes to fill."