OKLAHOMA CITY – Owasso softball coach Shane Eicher says the Rams have sometimes had trouble scoring runs in support of senior pitcher Lily Shaw. Shaw took matters into her own hands Friday afternoon in the Class 6A fast-pitch semifinals against Edmond Memorial.
Shaw pitched a complete-game, four-hitter and smashed a two-run home run during a four-run sixth-inning outburst that lifted the Rams to a 4-1 win over the defending state champions at the USA Hall of Fame Complex.
Fifth-seeded Owasso (30-8) will face perennial power and No. 2 seed Southmoore (33-5) at 5 p.m. Saturday for the Class 6A title. The teams played once this season, with the SaberCats winning 7-4 Aug. 14 at a tournament in Broken Arrow.
Southmoore, which rallied to beat Edmond Deer Creek 2-1 in eight innings in the other semifinal, has won two state titles (2013, 2016). Owasso has lost in four championship games under Eicher, but the Rams are on a six-game winning streak – all elimination games – since falling 1-0 to Union in a first-round regional contest. The Rams have allowed only six runs in those six wins.
“These kids are resilient,” Eicher said. “They’re just resilient. What an incredible game. They just compete their butts off and I’m so proud of them.
“It’s house money (Saturday). That’s how we’re looking at it. … That’s a good team we’re getting ready to play, but we’re going to enjoy this (win) right now.”
Top-seeded Edmond Memorial (31-5) and Owasso were locked in a scoreless battle until the top of the sixth, when the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs against Shaw. Beth Damon hit a sacrifice fly to put Memorial ahead 1-0, but Shaw retired the next two batters (also on fly balls) to end the threat.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, senior Emmalie Green singled to center field before Shaw followed with her no-doubt shot over the left-field fence to put the Rams ahead. Junior Hallie Hance then tripled down the right-field line and scored on a squeeze bunt by senior Sarah Campbell that turned into a single.
Campbell later scored on a single by freshman Natalie Ackenhausen, making it 4-1.
“The key to that game is when they had the bases loaded with nobody out and they only scored one,” Eicher said. “Then we come back and Emmalie Green gets on base and then Lily does her magic. It opened the door for us.”
Shaw struck out two of the four Memorial batters she faced in the seventh inning to end the game.
“Lily is just incredible,” Eicher said. “Last year, she threw all the way in the state tournament and got us to the finals. Yesterday, she threw lights-out (in a 12-1 win over Shawnee). Today, she threw great against a very good team. … There’s nothing she can’t do. As great a softball player as she is, she’s twice as good a kid.”
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