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Newcastle softball now 10-0 after 12-1 win over Harrah

The game on Monday afternoon for the Newcastle softball team didn’t start quite the way the Racers would have liked. Still, they walked away with a solid 12-1 victory over the Harrah Panthers.

The Panthers (7-5) showed some bite in the first inning against Newcastle (10-0). They got their first two runners on base and, then, a hit to take a quick 1-0 lead.

But, in the bottom half of the inning, shortstop Maebree Robertson doubled off the wall to get things going for the Racers and she scored the tying run to make it, 1-1. From there, it was a matter of proceeding through the lineup.

“What helped us today was Maebree,” said Newcastle head coach Mike Crossley. “She is a big leader for us. She is a really good defensive player and she starts the game off with a double off the wall. When she gets on base, we have a good chance of scoring. That’s why she’s our leadoff hitter. She plays a lot of ball and she’s a heck of a player. Maebree got the whole thing rolling for us.”

In the bottom of the second with two outs, third baseman Destiny Donahue slammed a three-run home run off the left field scoreboard to bring the score to 4-1. In the bottom of the fourth, Donahue delivered again with a double to score two more runners, making it 6-1 in favor of Newcastle.

Taryn O’Brien

doubled off the left field fence to bring home Donahue for a 7-1 lead. Catcher Shannon Pursell doubled off the left field wall to score O’Brien for an 8-1 lead. Kelsey Housely tripled off the center field wall to score another run for a 9-1 lead in favor of the Racers.

Riley Ross doubled to right center field to score Housely for a 10-1 advantage. Then, Robertson finished the scoring with a double to center field to score two more and the final 12-1 score.

“We started off slow,” Crossley said. “It’s good to play at home. We need to be in some ball games where they’re going to push us a little bit. We’ll get a little bit of that next week when we play Sand Springs, Stillwater, and Jenks at the Bixby Tournament. Glenpool and Fort Gibson will also be there.

“We’ll have to get more focus about us. These are district games and you would think that we would have some focus. But, these girls aren’t stupid. They know they should win the ball game. The other team has to play a great ball game to beat us and we’re going to have to play pretty badly. Today, it was just taking care of business.”

Crossley was very quick to give Robertson credit for sparking the Racers after a lackluster first inning. He said she is the spark for Newcastle and hopes she continues to be such a good plug.

“What helped us today was Maebree,” Crossley said. “She is a big leader for us.

She is a really good defensive player and she starts the game off with a double off the wall. When she gets on base, we have a good chance of scoring. That’s why she’s our leadoff hitter. She plays a lot of ball and she’s a heck of a player. Maebree got the whole thing rolling for us.

“Maebree got us right back into the game by hitting the double off the fence. Little Maebree is our ‘Mojo.’ When she gets on base, we have a tendency to look good offensively.”

Of course, starting pitcher McKenzie Wagoner was the winning ticket for Newcastle because she earned herself another victory. At 7-0, Wagoner is on fire. In her previous start, she struck out 19 hitters in a 5-0 win over Seminole.

“She gave up the first run she’s given up all year because we were just sloppy on defense in the first inning,” Crossley said. “McKenzie struck out 19 the other day. That’s crazy good! Even on her ‘bad’ days, she’s still a heck of a pitcher. She’s going to Liberty University in Virginia and she’s going to play for Dot Richardson, who is a former Olympian and has her own bats like Lisa Fernandez and Jenny Finch.

“Dot is right there with those great players. Liberty is church affiliated and their facilities are just ridiculously great. I’m really excited for McKenzie.”

Crossley also had praise for Donahue, who has always shown power in her swing, according to Crossley.

“Destiny certainly has that type of power,” Crosley said. “She hasn’t shown it up until today. But, even if the wind wasn’t blowing, that ball would have gone out no matter what. It was a shot. She’s hit ones like those in summer ball so it’s nothing new.

“Last year, we were 31-9. I told the girls before the season started that we were a pretty good hitting ball club last year. I knew this year we would hit with more power. We’re bigger and stronger than we were last year. It’s starting to come together.”

Robertson is definitely not one to brag about herself. She was just thrilled to get another Newcastle win.

“It felt very good to get that leadoff hit,” Robertson said. “It started the rally going. We’re doing well but it’s not about how you start. It’s how you finish. We didn’t start the season off that great because we had some lesser competition. But, now, we’re getting into the roots of the season where we’re having better competition and we have to play to the best of our abilities.

“Last year, we went to the Bixby Tournament and the OCU tournament in Edmond. I think we just all need to step up, be leaders, and just produce like we are capable of. It’s been a blessing. I started my freshman year and I feel like I have matured a lot since then. I’ll just try to keep on getting better and better with the work and help from my coaches and teammates.”

Newcastle’s next game was on Tuesday at home against Seminole. ›

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