McCord, Lady Panthers stun Blanchard

Freshman catcher Kennedy Crowson knocked in the eventual winning runs in the first inning in Harrah’s 5-1 victory over Blanchard. (Photo by Jason Turner)

Freshman catcher Kennedy Crowson knocked in the eventual winning runs in the first inning in Harrah’s 5-1 victory over Blanchard. (Photo by Jason Turner)

Junior Skylar McCord limited a powerful Blanchard lineup to just three hits and the Harrah Lady Panthers fast-pitch softball team celebrated their 2016 home opener with a 5-1 victory over the Lady Lions Tuesday.
The new rankings are not out yet, but Blanchard is a tradition-rich contender for state playoff action and one of the favorites for conference titles.
But the visitors had no answer for the wide variety of pitches served up by McCord, who has moved over to the mound from her usual first base position to anchor the 2016 staff. The Lady Panthers’ top returning hitter limited Blanchard to just one hit and two walks and an unearned run before the visitors picked up back to back singles in the seventh.
She struck out eight in notching her first win of the new season.
After struggling with errors in their season opener a day earlier in a 7-6 loss at Jones, the Harrah Ladies played flawless ball in support of McCord’s sterling performance.
The Lady Panthers wasted no time at the plate pushing across two runs in the first inning for all the runs they would really need.
With one out, senior Logan Collyer dumped a double to the opposite field and then sped to third on a wild pitch. Kylie French then drew a walk and promptly motored to second with a stolen base.
Freshman Kennedy Crowson displayed no first-game jitters whatsoever and she banged a solid single to left and Collyer and French easily scored. Crowson also turned in a sterling performance behind the plate with her hustle, skill and command of the situation.
After Blanchard scored its lone run of the contest, Harrah threatened in the third when McCord got the first of two hits on the afternoon following a walk to Collyer. But the HHS girls couldn’t get them home.
Not a problem in the fourth, however, as the other Collyer and only other senior Maddison Collyer registered a one-out double, traveled to third on a perfect sacrifice by another freshman starter Sarena Sanders, the right fielder.
Small but mighty Ashley Walden then drilled a double to easily plate Collyer and Logan Collyer and McCord followed with walks to load the bases, but the Panthers had a 3-1 lead after four which appeared solid as McCord continued to set the visitors down in order.
The Lady Panthers added an insurance run in the fifth when soph second baseman Kenzie Lasker slapped a single up the middle then motored to second on a perfect sacrifice by Ashlen Williams. Lasker then sped to third and used her speed again to come flying home on a passed ball by Blanchard.
The Panthers were at it again in the bottom of the sixth as Logan Collyer scored her second run of the afternoon after she drew her third base on balls of the afternoon. She then zipped to third on a single by McCord and easily scored on an rbi double by French for the final 5-1 edge.
The drama was cut short for the Lady Lions in the seventh after they picked up two of their three hits after McCord had struck out the cleanup hitter to open the frame. But Walden (her name is NOT Waldo) picked off an infield fly and then gunned down the Blanchard runner for the final out for the contest.
McCord and Lasker each had two hits in the Harrah nine-hit attack while Crowson had two RBIs and Logan Collyer scored two runs. The Panthers played in the Cushing Tournament over the weekend.
The Lady Panthers resumed play on Monday, journeying to Byng and played Purcell at home on Tuesday. Upcoming games include:
Aug. 18: at John Marshall, V/JV, 5 p.m.
Aug. 22: at Luther, V only, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 23: at Newcastle, V/JV, 5 p.m.
Aug. 26: at Ada, V/JV, 5 p.m.
Aug. 29: McLoud at Harrah, V/JV, 4:30 p.m.

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