By Andrew Glover
COYLE, Okla. —
There’s the old adage that the game isn’t over until it’s over. Friday at Coyle’s softball field, that rang true for the Glencoe Lady Panthers, who overcame a three-run deficit in an 8-7 walk-off victory over the Destiny Christian Lady Wildcats in the second round of the Coyle Tournament.
“We don’t give up until it’s over,” coach Tabitha Wright said. “We fight to the finish every time. ... Success comes when you start something and finish something.”
Carlie Roe hit a single to center with runners on the corners, driving in Jessica Hutchinson for the winning run. Roe said it felt good delivering in the clutch.
“I was just laughing when I hit it because my (teammates) were doing a new chant. I just cleared my head and stayed relaxed.”
Wright said she told Roe to relax before her at-bat.
“A lot of times they get in pressure situations and feel all the pressure,” Wright said. “We already tied the game and there’s two outs. The pressure is on the defense to field out. Worst case scenario is play an extra inning and do it again.”
Roe went 3 for 4 with a double and scored three runs.
“I just stayed relax and didn’t let the pressure get to me,” Roe said. “I’ve been playing this game a long time and know how to handle pressure.”
Wright said Roe had a big game but several contributed to the victory.
“Individual success as you come along the way brings team success to,” Wright said. “Each and every one of the girls stepped up. We left runners on every inning. We got hits early on, each of them got hits early on.”
With the game tied at two, Destiny Christian pulled out to a three-run lead. The Lady Wildcats’ Larissa Runyun hit a fly ball into the right corner for a triple, driving in Chloe Miller and Hannah Nichols. Runyun came home on a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the third, Glencoe’s Lyndsie Cook cut Destiny Christian’s lead to 5-4 with a bases-loaded single, scoring Macy Dickens and Jessica Hutchinson. The Lady Wildcats increased their lead in the fifth. Three of Destiny Christian’s first four batters reached with Hannah Nichols driving in a run with a single. Alyssa Staley singled with two outs to score Miller, pushing the Lady Wildcats lead to 7-4.
After the Lady Panthers led off the fifth with a flyout, Roe doubled and Martin walked. A single to center by Cook scored Roe. Summer Jefferies followed with a sacrifice fly to the left-center fielder, cutting Destiny Christian’s lead to 7-6.
With its hour of playing time winding down, Glencoe was in need of a rally. The first two batters of the inning lined out and struck out. Payti Blevins popped the ball up between third and home and both the catcher and third baseman went after it. The ball landed between them, allowing Blevins to reach. Hutchinson made the Lady Wildcats pay, hitting the ball to the fence in center for an RBI double to tie the game.
With the victory, the Lady Panthers face the winner of Oklahoma Christian Academy and Ripley in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Saturday for a chance to advance to the championship.
“We’re looking forward to the tournament,” Wright said. “We’ve been rained out all week. We’re just glad to get back out on the field.”