Purcell battled back-to-back games two days in a row in 100 plus heat persevering to finish tournament runners-up in the ultra tough Tecumseh & Dale Tournament.
Purcell, riding the arm of junior Ella Resendiz, knocked off Tecumseh 7-1 in the opening contest of the tournament.
Resendiz fanned six and gave up only three hits and the one run.
“It was definitely a pitcher’s dual and Ella won, head coach Sarah Jones said.
“We had a complete game,” Jones said. “We put a lot of pressure on them out-hitting them 8-3 and working off their mistakes to manufacture runs.”
Resendiz helped her own cause going 2-4 at the plate. Hannah Whitaker, Savanna Edwards, KK Vazquez, Hadleigh Harp, Mac McKay and Rosie Smith all had hits in the contest.
Up next was a 4-1 victory over Chandler.
“It was tough but we made it happen,” Jones said. “Chandler has a really good pitcher who got us 12 times at the plate.
Purcell out-hit the Lions, 3-1, but five Chandler errors were handy.
Whitaker tossed a complete game going all seven innings allowing one hit but the Dragons made four errors.
“We let the heat get in our way,” Jones said.
In the bottom of the sixth the game was knotted at one-all as time ran out.
“We had to go to the ITB in the seventh,” the coach said.
Jasey Baker started on second. Smith laid down a classic sacrifice bunt moving her to third. Esparza’s bunt back to the pitcher caused an error. Baker stayed on third while Esparza made it to second. Payci Constant’s sharp hit to the pitcher caused an error to score Baker.
Esparza and Constant scored on another Chandler error after Whitaker put the ball in play.
The Dragons then held on defense.
Caddo was the next opponent with Purcell posting a 3-2 victory.
“What a game,” Jones said. “Ella did an awesome job in the circle, defense made the plays, and we were able to make things happen throughout the lineup. Caddo started the day with a 21-0 record, Tecumseh defeated them before us and we ended their day with their first two losses of the season.
“They are a great offensive and defensive team including an OU commit,” Jones reported.
Constant went 2-2 with an RBI and Purcell got hits from Resendiz, McKay, Esparza and Kailynn Helton. KK and Kailynn had the other two RBI’s.
“It was a good win,” Jones confirmed.
After expending all their energy in the Caddo contest, the Dragons came out flat and dropped an 8-2 loss at the hands of Latta.
“We were so flat we couldn’t make routine plays and didn’t back up Ella. It isn’t good when your errors match your hits,” the coach said.
Even with the loss to Latta the Dragons won their Pool play and made it to the championship game with Dale.
The Pirates posted a 4-2 victory giving the Dragons the runner-up trophy.
“We came out hot in the first innings scoring two but we couldn’t get anything else going after that. Both of us had really good defense and Ella pitched a good game, getting us pop flies and ground balls,” Jones said.
Dale pushed a couple through in the sixth to take the lead. We tried to get something going in the top of the seventh but couldn’t push a couple across,” she said.
Vazquez and Esparza got the only Purcell hits in the game.
The RBI’s came from sacrifice flies from Resendiz and Edwards.
“This tournament is one of the hardest tournaments in the state. We played top teams from A-4A, and each of them you will probably see in the state tournament,” Jones said.
“They have a combined 106-20 record between the five teams and that’s tough. We are super proud of the girls. We haven’t played back-to-back in a really long time. Playing full games, back-to-back, two days in a row, in 100+ heat is a lot and fatigue really set in the last two games. We play both of those teams fresh and I can guarantee they will be different outcomes. But the good thing is, we hit adversity, played three days in a row and that can set us up for October. Over the next couple weeks we will finish District play and will start our Regional. Season is winding down and we are exactly where we need to be.”
In regular season games prior to the big tournament they defeated Madill twice, 17-0 and 13-9 and Sulphur once, 13-6. Sandwiched around a 7-5 loss at the hands of Plainview.
The Dragons, who took a 19-4 season mark to Byng Monday night are 9-1 in district play.
They will play Dickson Tuesday and Washington on Thursday.
Saturday they will play in the NW OKC Festival at Oklahoma Christian against Mustang and Westmoore.
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