By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
OKLAHOMA CITY — Patty Padgett’s last high school game didn’t go as she had wanted. The Westmoore senior dreamed of winning her second consecutive state slowpitch title and walking off into the sunset.
It didn’t work out that way. The top-ranked Jaguars were throttled 12-5 by Tulsa Union on Wednesday in the semifinals of the 6A slowpitch state championships.
“It’s tough,” a teary-eyed Padgett said. “It meant a lot to us and meant a lot to the team. It’s going to be tough, but I will come back and watch next year.”
Westmoore had faced No. 4 Union earlier in the season at the Big Cat Classic. The Jags won easily, 16-8.
A different Redskins squad showed up to the state tournament as they peppered the field with hits and shut down a high-scoring Jags’ offense.
“They won it the same way we won last year,” Westmoore coach Steve Schwarz said. “We didn’t do our jobs. A young team, I think we were over-trying. Just needed to swing and get the base hits. Just didn’t happen today.”
Union went on to beat Broken Arrow 16-6 to win its second championship in the past four years.
Padgett was hoping it would be the Jaguars who would lay claim to being two-time winners. But she is still proud of what she was able to accomplish in her time at Westmoore.
“It was awesome,” Padgett said of her career. “One of the best experiences I ever had in my life. I wouldn’t take anything back.”
Westmoore 5, Southmoore 3: The Jags came close to losing in the first round to cross-town rival Southmoore. It took a couple of clutch defensive plays to hold back a hard-charging SaberCats squad.
“Just a few missed opportunities,” SaberCats coach Jason Lingo said. “I can count two to three opportunities we just missed on. Westmoore is a great team and they capitalized on every single one of their opportunities. We let two or three slip through our fingers.”
Broken Arrow 4, Moore 3: With the game tied in the bottom of the sixth, Broken Arrow’s Theresa Collins untied it with a solo homer over the left-field fence. The Lions headed into the seventh inning needing a run or their season was over.
With one out on the board, Moore’s Zoey Pilcher singled to left. Kyle Gaither smashed a triple to left field to tie the contest. Demi Dobbs added an RBI single to put the Lions up 3-2.
“I was proud of the way the girls fought back,” MHS coach Michael Wakefield said. “They showed that determination. They fought all year. I can’t say anything bad about us.”
Moore had momentum on its side and just needed to get three outs to advance to the title game. However, the Tigers loaded the bases and Elena Gambill smashed a walk-off single to center field.
“We just didn’t hit the ball,” Wakefield said. “We just didn’t find the holes. We left the bases loaded with no outs and didn’t score. That’s just not us. We usually do a very good job of hitting with people in scoring position. And we didn’t do it that game.”
The loss eliminated Moore from the tournament. They have now gone five years since winning a state title, which doesn’t sit well with the program.
“It’s disappointing because when you are Moore High School, the only goal is to win state,” Wakefield said. “When you don’t do that, no matter how good your season was, it seems like a failure.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org