STERLING – Sterling’s softball team won three regional games in a row to advance to this week’s Class A state tournament at Oklahoma City’s Hall of Fame Stadium.
Sterling’s last regional win, an 11-0 shutout of Binger-Oney, pushed the Lady Tigers into the state tourney. Sterling, which is ranked No. 5 in Class A, has a 30-7 record heading into the single-elimination state tournament.
Sterling and Shattuck played Thursday afternoon, but the final score was not available at press time.
The Lady Tigers scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning against Binger-Oney on a two-run double by Kenley Geiger, an RBI single by Ellie Pierce, an RBI single by Morgan Curry and a groundout that allowed Lacy Spence to score from third base.
Sterling tallied three more runs in the second and fourth innings, respectively, to take the 11-0 lead.
In the second inning, Sterling used a double, three singles and a sacrifice fly to score its three runs. Sterling scored three more in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Shelbi Pearson, an RBI double by Curry and an RBI single by Pierce.
Curry, a senior, was credited with the win after pitching five innings and allowing zero earned runs on four hits while striking out three Binger-Oney hitters.
In earlier regional tourney games, Sterling defeated Hydro-Eakley 11-8 with the aid of four home runs and then downed Binger-Oney in the winner’s bracket, 11-6.
“We swung the ball really well each game,” Sterling head coach Marty Curry said. “They really looked good on Friday, and we pitched well on Friday. They’re ready to go.”
This is Sterling’s fourth state tournament appearance in five years. The Lady Tigers missed the tournament last year after losing in the regional championship matchup.
“This group hits it well all the way through the lineup,” Curry said. “They play really well, and they do the little things right. We’re hitting well, we always play good defense and if our pitching holds up, we should do well (in the state tournament).”
In the first regional game against Hydro-Eakley, Sterling used four home runs to claim the 11-8 victory. The Lady Tigers used a two-run homer by Kenley Geiger in the top of the seventh inning to seal the win. Ashlyn Clift, Emma Nunley and Ellie Pierce also homered for Sterling.
Sterling pitcher Morgan Curry was credited with the win after relieving starter Kalleigh Budd in the fifth inning.
Hydro Eakley had pulled to within 9-8 in the bottom of the sixth with three runs off two doubles and two Sterling errors.
In the second game, Sterling used a decisive fourth inning to defeat Binger-Oney, 11-6. Shelbi Pearson clobbered a three-run homer and Ashlyn Clift hit a solo shot in the fourth inning as Sterling jumped ahead of Binger-Oney, 9-6. Sterling added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal the win.
Curry was credited with the win after relieving Budd in the fourth inning. The pitching duo allowed six earned runs while giving up 15 hits and striking out six hitters.