By BOB CRAMER
A few ballgames recently have slipped away from Mustang High School’s fast-pitch softball team. For young players, such growing pains are normal as they learn how to win.
It occurred again to the Lady Broncos at home Monday night, when Choctaw’s Avery Clark smacked a two-run double in the seventh inning to help the Yellowjackets upend Mustang, 8-6.
“It happens. All teams face adversity throughout a season,“ Mustang coach Jamie Roberts said. “We have to continue to sharpen our game in every aspect, but also continue to work on our mental game and not let mistakes, errors and losses define us.”
Mustang (19-6 overall) was trying to protect a 6-5 lead in the seventh when Choctaw (13-8) staged its rally against starter Landry Garza. Clark got the eventual go-ahead hit off reliever Kiera McGahee.
Garza went 6 1⁄3 innings, allowing five hits and six runs.
She walked one and struck out nine.
Micaela Harcrow paced the Lady Broncos’ hitters by going 3-for-3.
“We know we have a talented group of players,” Roberts said. “Our focus these last few weeks is building an even stronger bond within and coming together as a team.”
Mustang got good news later Monday night when Edmond Memorial rallied to score three sixth inning runs to knock off Deer Creek, 6-4.
The Lady Broncos and Deer Creek had been tied for the District 6A-1 lead. Both teams had only two district losses until Memorial topped Deer Creek.
“We will host a regional regardless of the Putnam City game Thursday,” Roberts said. “However, if we win, we will clinch the district championship and be the No. 1 seed.”
Mustang’s district outing against Putnam City on Tuesday night was postponed due to rain and rescheduled to Thursday.
On Sept. 20, Mustang lost 3-2 to Edmond Memorial on the last play of the game in the COAC Tournament at Wild Horse Park. Most of the event was rained out.
Mustang was leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Memorial’s Jill Dickerson grounded a one out, bases-loaded single to right field off a 1-2 pitch from Garza. Two runs scored and the game ended due to the tournament’s 75-minute time rule.
On Sept. 19, Mustang went on the road to pound out 20 hits and rout Lawton, 12-1, for a district victory.
Harcrow and Hannah Keele each went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Harcrow had a triple and three doubles. Also, Sierra Selfridge was 3-for-3 with a run and two RBIs.
Garza pitched five innings, yielding only one hit, one run, walking one and striking out five to gain the win.