REGIONAL QUEENS: Yukon bests Mustang in regional final to advance to state tournament

It has been nine years since Mustang softball has not played in the state tournament and Yukon is the reason the Broncos will not make an appearance in the 2018 version of the 6A state bracket.

The Millerettes beat Mustang 5-3 Thursday in the regional championship game at Yukon High School.

Yukon struck first in the opening frame with a RBI single from Bre Johnson. The Millerettes led 1-0 after one. Yukon would again score a run in the second inning and lead 2-0 after two.

In the third inning, the Millerettes scored two runs, including an RBI rope to left center from McKenna Johnson. The Broncos got their first run on the board in the bottom half of the frame and the score was 4-1 Yukon heading into the fourth.

Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but Mustang put two on the board in the bottom of the fifth after the Millerettes added a run in the top half. The score going into the sixth was 5-3.

The Broncos had their best chance to tie or take a lead on Yukon in the bottom of the sixth inning when Brooklin Mathers made a game-saving, diving catch in centerfield to end Mustang’s threat.

That would be all she wrote after the Broncos couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the seventh.

Bre Johnson pitched all seven innings and earned the win.

“Bre was going off of adrenaline in those last few innings,” Yukon coach Katy Hoke said. “She pitched a ton of innings in the two days. We fought hard. It was a very tough regional with some really good teams. We played together. I told them we needed to all be on the same page and we were. We didn’t play perfect, but we played together. It took everyone. I am really proud of these girls because no one really gave them a chance all year because of the players we lost from last year.

“We knew Mustang was going to make a run on us. They are a great program. I am just proud of our girls for not getting down on themselves. Brooklin’s (Mathers) catch was unbelievable. It was one of the bigger plays of the regional for us.”

Prior to facing Mustang in the regional final, Yukon took on the Broncos Wednesday in the winner’s bracket game.

The Millerettes beat Mustang 6-3. The Broncos looked sharp early. They led 2-0 through three innings before Yukon’s bats woke up in the fourth.

Bre Johnson followed Ashlyn Bruce’s single with a double down the third base line that gave the Millerettes runners at second and third with nobody out.

Mustang walked the next two batters, including a run into home. Jordan Schlarb then came up and gave Yukon a 3-2 lead with a two-RBI single to right field. The Millerettes put another run on the board and led 4-2.

The Broncos responded with a run of their own in the top of the fifth to make it 4-3, but Bre Johnson and Amanda Davis made it 6-3 Yukon with back-to-back homeruns on back-to-back pitches in the bottom half of the frame.

Mustang never recovered and the Millerettes secured the victory. Bre Johnson pitched all seven innings and earned the win.

In its first game of the regional on Wednesday, Yukon played Edmond Memorial and won 11-2.

Hannah Hurtz led the game off with a homerun to give the Millerettes a 1-0 lead after the first inning. The Bulldogs scored a run of their own in the second to tie the score at 1-1 going into the third frame.

Yukon put four runs on the board in the third inning and led 5-1 going into the fourth. The Millerettes put another three runs on the board in the fourth, including a two-run homerun from Bruce.

The score remained 8-1 going into the sixth with Yukon scoring another run to make it 9-1. The Millerettes added two more runs in the in the seventh and Edmond Memorial added another run in the bottom half of the inning before Yukon closed the door.

Bre Johnson pitched the first five innings and earned the win. Kaylee Bradley pitched the final two innings.

“It wasn’t perfect in the first two games,” Hoke said. “We had good intensity and played with excitement. Bre pitched well. We had fun and we play better when we have fun. We didn’t get down when Mustang scored a run on us early. We kept fighting. We made the adjustments at the plate after the first three innings against Mustang. Bre really ignited the offense with that double down the third base line in the fourth inning.”

The 6A state softball tournament will begin Thursday in Shawnee at the Firelake Softball Complex.

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