By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Amber Davis admits that she’s a bit of a thrill seeker at times — and you’d have to be to coach the Stillwater High School softball team — but even Davis could barely stomach the game against Enid Monday at Little Couch Park.
However, relief didn’t come from a pink bottle. Instead it came from the pink-faced freshman leadoff hitter, Cailin Fluty.
With the game tied at 9-9 and runners on second and third, Fluty’s single up the middle scored Laikyn Anderson to give the Lady Pioneers a 10-9 victory and helped Stillwater avenge a 3-2 loss to the Pacers two days earlier in the El Reno Tournament.
“We like to get on rollercoasters a little bit and make things interesting, let’s say,” Davis said as the relief washed over her face. “That’s a true freshman right there. She stepped up to the plate several times and I have nothing but confidence in her.”
And for good reason. Fluty finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI and a leadoff double in the bottom of the first that sparked Stillwater’s offense early as the Lady Pioneers (4-4, 2-2 in district) plated three runs in the first to take a 3-0 lead — capped off by Sage Fluty’s two-run double to center.
“It was awesome,” Cailin Fluty said. “I just got a pitch to hit.”
Based on the way the two teams played in El Reno, three runs might have been enough, but that certainly wasn’t the case Monday as the two teams combined for 19 runs on 22 hits and 11 errors.
“I think Coach Davis and I were both at the same point of frustration,” Enid coach Marsha Cusack said. “There were just too many mistakes and errors. It was just a train wreck — I don’t know any way else to describe it.”
Already trailing 3-0 after the first inning, Enid (5-8, 1-2 in district) didn’t go down without a fight as the Pacers tallied five runs in the top of the second.
Ally Lewis’ two-run homer to left in the top of the second closed the gap to 1. The Pacers then took the lead when they scored three runs on consecutive errors on one play, taking a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
Haven Bay then led off the top of the third with a double before walks to Lewis and Brooke Sears loaded the bases. McKayla Herbst then unloaded the bases with a double and another Stillwater error, to give Enid a 8-3 lead.
But in this game, no lead was safe.
Courtney Hughes led of the inning with a triple before Sage Fluty walked. Hailey McDaniel then drove in Hughes with a double to right before McKenzie Stokes scored Sage Fluty with a single. Stokes and Anderson then scored when Enid’s second baseman dropped a two-out popfly, tying the game at 8-8.
“My famous words were, ‘It’s time to pull your head out,’” Davis said. “It was time to get things going. They knew what they did wrong. They just had to make up for it at the plate.”
After retaking the lead on Herbst’s second double of in the bottom of the fifth, Enid threatened to add to its lead with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. But a gamble Cusack didn’t pay off as Bay was caught stealing on a suicide squeeze.
“It was frustrating for me because I’m a big short-game person,” Cusack said. “The kid that I asked to do it is just one of my mentally toughest and best bunters. I don’t think she even knows what happened. ... I thought we’d catch them off guard but it didn’t work out to our advantage.”
Once again, Hughes ignited Stillwater’s comeback after reaching on an error before Halley Randolph walked. Following a sacrifice bunt by Sage Fluty, McDaniel then tied the game at 9-9 with a sacrifice fly that scored Hughes — setting the stage for Cailin Fluty’s heroics in the seventh.
“I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss every day,” Davis said. “The girls were thirsty from Saturday. They knew they had to come out and get them (Monday).”
Taylor Lane (1-2) picked up the win, allowing one run on four hits over the final three innings.
Hughes also went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs. McDaniel was 1-for-1 with two RBIs and a run for Stillwater, which travels to Midwest City Thursday.