Usher impresses in Varsity debut; Sandites win season opener 13-0

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (1-1) kicked off the season with a bang at the Claremore Festival Tuesday afternoon. The first game of the season lasted only four innings before the Lady Sandites secured the shutout victory via run rule over the Mannford Lady Pirates (0-2).

Madelyn Blair (1-0) got the start and win on the mound, pitching a no hitter with five strikeouts and only one walk. Freshman Sabrina Usher made an outstanding varsity debut with three runs and four RBI, including the first home run of the season for the Sandites.

It didn't take the Sandites long to establish themselves as a threat as Madelyn Blair batted in freshman Felicity Horn on a single early in the first inning. Senior Oklahoma State-commit Sydney Pennington tagged up to score with two outs. Rachel Blair singled in Jacie Taber. Cameron Clemons doubled and came in on Usher's first hit of the game. Usher scored on a double by Horn for a 7-0 advantage before the bottom of the first.

Madelyn Blair struck out two in the first inning to bring in the Sandites for another run. Pennington struck a double and reached home on a fielder's choice, followed by Taber who scored on an error. 

Madelyn Blair added another pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the second and Usher connected on her first pitch for an out of the park homer to score Clemons in the top of the third.

In the top of the fourth Usher reached on an error to score Jessica Collins, then came home on a single by Horn for the final run of the game.

In game two of the festival the Sandites met their match in a shutout loss to Coweta (2-0). The girls managed four hits with Pennington, Presnell, and Taber hitting singles and Pennington adding a double. 

Sophomore Jacie Taber (0-1) got the loss on the mound, despite only giving up three earned runs. Taber struck out five, walked five, and gave up five hits. The game came immediately after the victory over Mannford and both teams were lethargic under the 100 degree sun. 

Coweta defeated Mannford 3-0 in the first round of the festival.

The Lady Sandites will return to action Friday at the Broken Arrow Tournament with games against Owasso at 10:00 a.m., Choctaw at 11:30 a.m., and Putnam City North at 5:00 p.m.