The Pioneers opened up the tournament on Friday with a 5-1 victory over Rose State. Kelsey Watson got the win in the circle for Western as the Freshman allowed only four hits and one run in her complete game of work. Watson also struck out ten Raider hitters while walking zero. Western got a big game from Martha Thomas as the sophomore second baseman had three hits including a double and a home run. Watson also added a solo home run for the Pioneers.
Later on Friday, Western matched up with NEO A&M and the Lady Norseman dominated much of the game. NEO put three runs up in the second and third innings followed by a two run fourth. Down 8-0 in the fifth the Pioneers finally put something together when Emery Fox laced a three rbi double to right-center field. That would be it for Western as NEO added two more runs in the fifth and sent the Pioneers to the losers’ bracket with a 10-3 defeat.
Western got back on track early Saturday as they advanced by beating Eastern Oklahoma State 7-0. Samantha Betts collected her 20th win in the contest working the final four frames and allowing only one hit and no runs. Kelsey Watson and Ty Washington led the Pioneer attack with two hits apiece and both homered. Martha Thomas also added two hits in the contest.
Needing to win to advance to the final day of regionals, Western battled with Connors State College Saturday afternoon. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning the Pioneers got a grand slam from Martha Thomas to take a 4-2 lead. Western added one more run in the inning and one more in the sixth to win the contest 6-2. Thomas, Emery Fox, Cynthia Barrera, and Kelsey Watson all collected two hits in the game. Watson collected her 24th victory of the season with a complete game effort that included striking out seven Cowgirl hitters.
With the victory over Connors, Western got a rematch with NEO on Sunday in the semi-finals of the regional. Both pitchers, Watson for Western and Workman for NEO, matched zeros in the first two innings before NEO pushed one across in the third. The Pioneers evened things up in the fourth with one run and had the bases loaded with one out when right fielder Stevie Anderson smoked a lined drive right at NEO third baseman Allison Pogue for an inning ending double play. NEO got the go ahead run in the sixth and the Pioneers never responded as they dropped a 2-1 contest. Watson threw six innings and allowed only one earned run before Betts took over for the final inning and keeping the Lady Norsemen off the board. Emery Fox got the only hit of the game for the Pioneers.
“Losing the last game will always make us sick because we expect more as a team,” said head coach Mike McBrayer. “Tip your hat to NEO as they played well and found a way to win. Kelsey and Sam did a good job giving us a chance, we just never adjusted at the plate.”
Lady Pioneer notes--
The Pioneers finished with 80 home runs on the season. Emery Fox and Martha Thomas led the team with 19 apiece. LeNae Sanchez and Tori Jones had 11. Ty Washington and Kelsey Watson also added 7 each.
Western hit 110 doubles this season. Martha Thomas led the way with 24. Emery Fox had 20 followed by Hillary Ratliff with 12. Ty Washington had 11 and Cynthia Barrera had 10.
The Pioneers’ pitching staff fanned 432 hitters this season. Kelsey Watson and Samantha Betts both surpassed the 100 mark. Watson led the team with 243 strikeouts followed by Betts with 176.
The Pioneers broke a team record in doubles. Western hit 110 doubles this season breaking the 2011 team’s record of 93.
Western set a new team record for rbi’s as well. The club had 407 this season breaking the 2011 record of 394.
The Pioneers’ 7.4 runs per game surpassed the 2011 team’s record of 7.3 runs per game.
Western’s 217 walks this season broke another record from the 2011 team’s 211 bases on balls.
The Western pitchers set a new record for strikeouts. The 2012 club had 432 k’s breaking the 2011 record of 305.
Kelsey Watson broke the single season team record for strikeouts. Watson had 243 strikeouts passing Samantha Betts 187 from 2011.
Sophomore second baseman Martha Thomas broke her own record for single season doubles. Thomas hit 24 doubles this season which breaks her 2011 team record of 18.
Thomas also broke her own runs scored record with 71. Thomas set the record in 2011 with 63.
Thomas broke the single season record for hits as well. Thomas finished with 84 hits breaking Megan Bell’s 2011 record of 81.
Emery Fox broke the single season school record for hit by pitches. Fox was hit seven times this season to break current Pioneer Hillary Ratliff’s record of six last season.
Fox broke the single season team record for rbi’s as well. Fox had 84 rbi’s passing Megan Bell’s 69 in the 2011 season.
Sophomore center fielder Ty Washington broke the single season team record for walks. Washington had 50 walks on the season. Current Pioneer second baseman Martha Thomas previously held the record with 32 in 2011.
The Pioneers have set a new team record for hit by pitches with 27. The record was previously held by the 2009 team with 16.