STERLING – A run-scoring groundout in the fifth inning propelled the Cyril Pirates to a 3-2 win over the Sterling Lady Tigers in the finals of the Central High Tournament last Saturday.
“We did OK,” Sterling softball coach Marty Curry said. “We made some mistakes that cost us against Cyril. Sometimes that’s the name of the game in softball. But Cyril is no slouch. They were state runner-up last year. We need to clean some stuff up and we’ll be OK.”
Sterling committed three errors in the championship game.
The Lady Tigers opened with a single run in the top of the first, but Cyril countered with two runs in the bottom of the first. Sterling evened the score in the top of the third when Ellie Pierce grounded out with Shelby Spence crossing home plate. Spence reached base on a double earlier in the inning.
Sterling pitcher Morgan Curry was tagged with the loss, giving up zero earned runs and four hits. She walked two and struck out one Cyril hitter.
In the tourney’s first-round game, Sterling defeated Velma-Alma 8-0 followed by a 4-0 victory over Apache. Sterling dropped into the loser’s bracket after dropping a 2-1 decision to Cyril. Sterling went on to defeat Apache 6-1 to advance to the championship game.
In the tournament’s opener against Velma-Alma, Sterling tallied 10 hits with Curry, Spence and Shelbi Pearson managing two hits each in four at-bats. Pitcher Kaleigh Budd was credited with the complete game shutout win, giving up two hits and striking out 11.
Budd picked up her second consecutive shutout win with the 4-0 victory over Apache. In that game, Budd pitched five innings, allowed three hits and struck out six Apache hitters. Sterling scored two runs in the third and added a pair of runs in the fourth to secure the win.
After two tourney wins, Cyril dropped Sterling 2-0 as the Lady Tiger offense was almost nonexistent with two hits and 10 strikeouts. Sterling’s Budd was given the loss as she allowed the two runs on four hits while striking out four.
Cyril scored single runs in the first and third innings.
“We’re not hitting to the level we need to,” Coach Curry said. “This gives me a good idea what we need to work on.”
Meanwhile, Sterling picked up its third win of the tournament with the 6-1 victory over Apache. Sterling racked up 12 hits during the game including a second-inning home run by Kenley Geiger. The Lady Tigers tallied two runs in the first inning to take the lead. Sterling added another run in the third and two more in the fifth inning to secure the win.
Lacy Spence, Shelby Spence, Ellie Pierce and Curry each had two hits in the game.
Sterling hosted Binger Aug. 18, but those results were not available at press time. The Lady Tigers travel to Marlow Aug. 19 and then return home to host Walters Aug. 22 and Geronimo on Aug. 23. Sterling will also compete in the Depew Tournament Aug. 25-27.