RED OAK – A lot went wrong for the Red Oak softball team over the course of hosting a three-day tournament. On Saturday, the team got a little reward for all its troubles.
The Lady Hawks capped the weekend with two wins over Ellis County foes, knocking off Palmer 8-2 and Maypearl 2-0 to finish the weekend 4-2 after splitting the first four games of the tournament.
“It was really important because now I think we have a lot of confidence, especially going up against Waxahachie on Tuesday,” sophomore pitcher Marley Dickert said.
Red Oak jumps back into district play on Tuesday with a home matchup against rival Waxahachie. But taking care of business in the tournament came first.
After knocking off first-year coach Tatum Thorne’s former Palmer team 8-2 in an early morning game the team returned to action with one of the final tournament games of the day against Maypearl. Over the previous five games, Red Oak had lost by four, won by 11, won by one, lost by three and won by six. This time around, it was another grinding fight to the finish.
Both teams placed runners in scoring position early on but both struggled to capitalize. Pitcher Marley Dickert worked out of a jam in the first inning by forcing a fly ball to right with two runners on. She then got the offense going with a double in the second inning. Lauren Tamez followed her with a single and took second on the throw.
Chelsea Bissonnet would bring the first run home as she hit a ball that was bobbled, allowing the run to score. Two batters later, a wild pitch during Jaimi Munoz’s at-bat allowed the second run to score.
That was all the offense either team could muster as Red Oak collected just two more hits for the game. Meanwhile, Dickert faced one over the minimum number of batters after the first inning with the lone blemish coming on an infield single. She finished the day with seven strikeouts as the game ended in the fifth inning due to time constraints.
“I felt good. It helped that my defense had my back through all the games. That helped a lot,” Dickert said.
For the Lady Hawks, the wins were a big boost on the stat sheet and in morale.
Injuries continued to force new faces into the lineup as senior shortstop Samantha Gilmore, one of the heroes in Friday’s game with Grandview, had to sit out the final three games with a concussion sustained during warmups. Sophomore Katie Boyce, on the reserve infielders, continues battling a shoulder problem and did not play in the final game.
Those injuries forced Thorne to give some new faces a shot, including Katie Allen, while playing numerous outfield combinations.
“We had a girl get another injury before our second game yesterday and right now we’re struggling as far as injuries and keeping people healthy,” Thorne said. “But I think part of that is the fact that they’re pressing, they’re doing all-out, they’re giving 110 percent and when you do that, injuries are going to occur. I think that’s a sign that everybody is giving everything they have.”
While losing players is not what anyone on the Red Oak roster wanted, the Lady Hawks were happy to see other players step up and contribute in the face of adversity.
The four wins might not sound like much but considering the team had just three wins coming into the weekend, it was a feeling the team was happy to embrace.
“From where our record was before, our confidence is great and we’ve actually started playing better and that just goes along with it,” Tamez said.