Rough first inning dooms Yukon in season-opener

The old saying, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish,” didn’t ring true Monday for the Yukon softball team.

The Millerettes fell to Class 4A’s Blanchard 6-3 in the season-opener at home and it was the first inning that sunk Yukon.

The Lady Lions put up five runs in the top of the first and Yukon was playing uphill for the remainder of the game.

“I think we had some nerves to start the game,” Yukon coach Katy Hoke said. “We had six starters in their first varsity game. I think we are a lot better than what we showed tonight, especially with the bats.”

Once the Millerettes settled in, they began to see success. Yukon scored one run in the bottom of the third frame to cut the lead to 5-1 and then clean-up hitter Bre Johnson shrunk the deficit even more with a two-run homerun that sailed over the centerfield wall to make it 5-3.

However, that would be as close as Yukon would get. The Lions put one more run on the board in the top of the fifth inning and the Millerettes couldn’t mount another offensive threat.

“I’m proud of the way we battled back defensively,” Hoke said. “We made adjustments and settled into the game. We had several girls that flew in from travel ball tournaments last night (Sunday night). I saw some good things, so I am encouraged moving forward.”

Johnson was also the starting pitcher in the circle for the Millerettes. The senior right-hander went six innings and allowed six runs (three earned) on eight hits, no walks and had six strikeouts.

A.J. Rayburn pitched the final inning for Yukon and didn’t allow a run or a hit and had no walks and no strikeouts.

Yukon finished the game with six hits and two RBI’s. Two of the hits and both RBI’s belonged to Johnson with the other four hits coming from Hannah Hurtz, Brooke Mathers, McKenna Johnson and Amanda Davis.

The Millerettes finished with three errors defensively in the contest.

“I believe we are going to do some good things,” Hoke said. “We are going to practice together tomorrow (Tuesday). A lot of these girls haven’t even practiced together yet.”

Next up for the Millerettes will be a trip to the Tulsa-area Friday and Saturday to compete in the Broken Arrow tournament. Following the weekend tournament, Yukon will travel to Lawton for a 6:30 p.m. district match up Monday and then host Westmoore at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for another district battle.

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