First-year head coach Everett Hodges had hoped to see some marked improvement in the Waurika fast-pitch softball program during the 2019 season.

And while the season ended with a less than sterling record at 5-16, the Lady Eagles showed great progress in trying to build the fast-pitch program.

The Lady Eagles were competitive in many more games than in the past couple of seasons and with the entire squad slated to return for the 2020 season, there is much optimism for the program.

The 2019 season came to a close last Thursday in the Class A District Tournament at Ringling.

The Lady Eagles fell in the first round to Wilson, 10-6, and then came back to lose to Ringling, 16-6, in the second game.

In the game with Wilson, the Lady Eagles had plenty of chances but just could not get a key hit when it was needed.

Wilson struck for two runs in the top of the second, but the Lady Eagles answered with a single tally in the bottom half of the first. Liberti Simmons reached on an infield hit and advanced around the bases, helped by an error, to get the first run for the Lady Eagles.

In the top of the second, Wilson added four runs on just two hits as the Lady Eagles fell apart in the field during the uprising giving Wilson a 6-1 lead.

The score remained at 6-1 until the Lady Eagles struck for a run in the bottom of the third inning. Hope Cummings drew a lead-off walk and scored when Riley Howell reached on an error. Waurika eventually loaded the bases, but could not cut into the lead and the inning ended with Waurika trailing, 6-2.

In the top of the fourth, Wilson added another run on a double and an error.

Waurika answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth, but again a base running miscue and the inability to get a key hit stopped a rally. Gracie Walling reached on a walk and then scored on Landry Forsyth’s double to bring the deficit to 7-3.

Wilson continued to pad the lead as an infield hit, a hit batsman and a double produced two runs to up the lead for Wilson to 9-3.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Eagles got a leadoff double by Walling and she scored on a ground out by Faith Roberson. The Lady Eagles got a pair of walks, but could not cut into Wilson’s advantage,

In the top of the seventh Wilson picked up another run on two hits and an error.

With the Lady Eagles looking at a 10-5 deficit heading to their final at-bat, it was again the lack of ability to take full advantage of opportunities to score.

One-out singles by Kinzie Taylor and Simmons got the rally started. Walling’s infield hit loaded the bases and Simmons scored on a single by Forsyth after two were out. The game ended with the Lady Eagles leaving the bases loaded.

In the second game against the eventual district tourney champion Ringling, the Lady Blue Devils wasted no time in putting away the Lady Eagles.

Ringling struck for seven runs in the bottom of the first inning with 11 batters coming to the plate. Two errors, two walks, two singles and two doubles along with a passed ball and two stolen bases helped the Lady Blue Devils plate the seven runs.

The Lady Eagles answered in the top of the second inning with four runs of their own. A single by Alana Lewis was followed by a walk by Cassidie Berry and a two-out single by Simmons loaded the bases for the Lady Eagles.

Walling slammed a double to left field that cleared the bases and cut the lead to 7-3. Walling scored on Cummings’ double to leave the Lady Eagles trailing 7-4.

In the bottom of the third, Ringling struck for three more runs on a hit batsman, single, error and a two-run double that increased the Waurika deficit to 10-4.

In the top of the fourth the Lady Eagles scratched a pair of runs. Grace Hill reached on an error and Simmons walked. A two-out double by Cummings scored Hill and Simmons, but the rally ended with Waurika trailing 7-4.

In the bottom of the fourth the Lady Blue Devils ended the game with six runs. Four singles and one error contributed to the uprising that ended the game by the run rule.