When the Lady Bulldogs began their season Tuesday, it was still unknown just how well they would adapt after a coaching change during the off season. Consistency at the coaching level is often synonymous with a team’s success and although Lady Bulldog head coach Ricky Bull is new to the program this season, he is familiar with the softball program overall thanks two a stint coaching the team in the early 2000s.
The first test for the Lady Bulldogs came on the road as the team opened its season in Grandfield for a three-way matchup with the Grandfield Lady Bearcats and the Empire Lady Bulldogs.
They saw their first action of the season against Grandfield with Altus falling 3-2 in walk off fashion. The Lady Bulldogs regrouped and struck back against Empire in game two of the day’s doubleheader and earned an easy 11-1 victory to pick up their first win of the season.
Alex Jackson swung the hot bat for the Lady Bulldogs and finished 2-for-2 with three runs and four RBIs including a three-run home run in the top of the second inning that put Altus ahead 6-0.
Kymbree McKee was solid on the mound for Altus and pitched five innings of two-hit softball striking out three in the process.
The hope was that the momentum would carry into the Lady Bulldogs first home game, but nine errors ultimately prevented Altus from keeping the game close as the Lawton MacArthur Lady Highlanders surged ahead early and coasted to an 18-2 victory.
Down 5-0 in the bottom of the first inning, the Lady Bulldogs offense found a brief spark when Alex Jackson found a pitch she liked and sent it to right field to score a waiting Kelsee Baker and give Altus its first run of the game.
But Lawton wasted little time in adding four more runs to their lead in the bottom half of the second inning to go up 9-1 over the Lady Bulldogs.
Destiny VonRaesfeld provided the only other run for the Lady Bulldogs’ offense when she took the count deep during her at-bat before crushing a fly ball over the left field fence to pull Altus within seven.
The Lady Highlanders continued the onslaught in the third, fourth, and fight innings by scoring nine total runs to extend their lead to 18-2 and ultimately walk away with the win.
McKee pitched all five innings for the Lady Bulldogs and allowed just five of Lawton’s 18 total runs.
Baker finished the game 1-for-2 with one run while Jackson added an RBI while going 1-for-2 at the plate.
VonRaesfeld also finished 1-for-2 with one run and one RBI.
The Lady Bulldogs (1-2) are on the road at Olustee next for a tournament that is scheduled for August 10-11.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.