Millers’ defense struggles in 15-11 loss

Yukon’s Brooke Mathers beats the throw at first base during Thursday’s game against Southmoore. The Millers lost the game in eight innnings 15-11. Photo / Terry Groover

Yukon’s goal of finishing the regular season in third place in the district took a hit Wednesday after the Millers softball team dropped a 15-11 loss the district’s top team, Southmoore.
The game was pushed to extra innings behind a seventh-inning homerun from Ashlyn Bruce that came with the bases empty and two outs on the board.
The solo shot to left field was one of four towering shots from the Millers during the game.
The Millers had a three-run homer from AJ Rayburn and a solo homer from McKeena Johnson in the six-run fourth inning that put Yukon up 8 to 3.
However, it was a game of swings.
Yukon grabbed a big lead in the fourth inning only to see Southmoore come back in the fifth after the Millers had problems on defense.
Southmore scored four runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth to go back on top by a run heading into the seventh.
Yukon got two runs of its own in the seventh inning.
But the bottom fell out in the eighth when the Sabercats hammered reliever AJ Rayburn.
In all, the two teams combined for 31 hits in a game that last 2 hours and 45 minuts.
Yukon finished the night with 16 hits, but defensively, they had three errors, including a couple that came at in opportune times.
A fly ball in right field was missed after a Yukon player lost the ball in the sun in the fourth inning.
In the fifth a bobbled ball and an overthrow at first helped lead the way to four runs.
Coach Katy Hoke said she was happy with her team’s offense, but was concerned about the defensive play.
“We hit the ball well. We beat ourselves defensively,” she said.
Hoke said the team needs to clean up the errors, because in Wednesday’s game, each error resulted in a score for Southmoore.
“Those were routine, fundamental plays that we made mistakes on, which put runners on base, if not in scoring position,” she said.
Yukon threw all three of its pitchers.
Kaylee Bradley pitched five innings and tossed 18 first-pitch strikes. She also had five strikeouts.
Jaycee McKee pitched two innings, while AJ Rayburn took the loss with one inning pitched.
“I thought Kaylee Bradley was pitching a great ball game, but you have to have defense behind her. You’ve got to help her out when you can, and I felt like that was where we struggled,” Hoke said. “We’ve got to mentally make that transition and play defense.”
With the loss, Yukon now must beat Norman on Monday to seal up third place in the conference behind Southmoore and Westmoore.
Monday’s game wil also be senior night.
Tuesday, the Millers travel to Mustang followed by an away game Thursday at Piedmont. They also play Blanchard at 5 p.m. on Oct. 7.
The Millers were scheduled to be back in action on Friday at the Edmond North Tournament.

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