RED OAK – Amber Tucker only needed one word to describe how she felt after Friday’s morning against Grandview – “amazing.”
Tucker bounced back from a lackluster 0-for-2 start to the game by sending a double down the line in left field to bring home the winning run as Red Oak held on for a 1-0 win over Grandview to start the day.
“It just feels really good to finally pull it out at the end,” Tucker said of the dramatic finish.
With one out in the ninth, catcher Jamie Dufour hit a single to put one on. After another out, Samantha Gilmore notched her second base hit of the day to keep the inning alive. Kaitlyn Callier loaded the bases when she reached first thanks to an error at short.
That set the stage for Tucker, who delivered a hit that technically cleared the bases but because time had already expired on the game the first runner to cross home was the only one that counted.
Still, the shot sparked a celebration among players and coaches who were just happy to get a victory, no matter the score.
“At that point she was 0-for-2 and I told her if you get up, we’re going to win the game and she figured out a way,” coach Tatum Thorne said. “She is a tough competitor. She has a heart of stone. She understands what wins games.”
The battle between Grandview and Red Oak might have ended with offensive heroics but the majority of the game was all about defense. Between the two starting pitchers there were just five strikeouts and three walks, leaving a lot of ground for the fielders to cover.
Red Oak pitcher Marley Dickert never really found her strikeout material but managed to offer up pitches her defense turned into outs. She induced eight pop ups or fly balls for the game. Gilmore, the starting shortstop, put up one of her best defensive efforts thus far snaring two liners and grabbing two more pop ups on the infield for outs.
“Marley’s job is to get a ground ball or fly ball out. She got about five or six fly balls to me so she did her job and I helped her,” Gilmore said of the effort.
The win gave the Lady Hawks back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
While a two-game win streak isn’t much, it’s a little confidence building the team direly needed going into the rest of the season.
“We really needed a win and we got one yesterday. I think it propelled us. We have talent everywhere and we finally put it all together and got ourselves a good win,” Gilmore said.
Lady Hawks fall
Revenge for a loss in the Hewitt Midway Tournament last weekend might have been what the Red Oak softball team wanted against Waco Robinson but it was not what it got. Robinson capitalized on four fielding errors by the Lady Hawks to come away with a 3-0 win in Friday’s second game.
Red Oak (5-11, 0-2 district) and Robinson had no extra base hits in the game and both teams were fairly even with Robinson edging the total hits 5-4. But those four errors were too much for the Lady Hawks to overcome in the end.
Red Oak closed out the tournament with a 9:30 a.m. game against Palmer and a 2 p.m. game against Maypearl on Saturday.
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