The Mustang Broncos returned to district play on Thursday and not only beat the heat, but they also took care of their east-side opponent in the first of a two-game series.
On the back of a one-hit performance from starting pitcher Amelia Mason (Jr.) and nine hits from the offense, including a three-hit night from third baseman Eden Anderson (Sr.), the Broncos cruised past the Jenks Trojans for a 6-1 win.
The Trojans (5-5, 3-3) didn’t record a knock until the top of the seventh inning – a single with one on and one out. Much like the team’s output the entire game – thanks to Mason – nothing came of it. Two batters later, the Broncos sealed the victory.
Mason was dominant, allowing the one knock and three walks with five strikeouts. 62 of her 98 total pitches were strikes, which helped spur a stretch of 10 straight batters retired from the end of the first inning to the start of the fourth.
Jenks’ lone run was manufactured. After leadoff walk, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly to start the first inning, Mustang fell into a 1-0 deficit on a groundout RBI to second baseman Lexy Kierstead (So.).
Mustang’s offense provided plenty of support, especially late in the game.
The Broncos (5-5, 3-0) wasted no time, taking advantage of a pair of Jenks mishaps to answer in the bottom of the first.
Kierstead reached on an error at shortstop to start the frame before moving to third base after a bunt single by Kenzie Sessions (Sr.) with another error on the play. Sessions moved to second.
Catcher Arionna McElroy (Sr.) helped tie the game at 1-1, driving home Kierstead on a groundout to the shortstop, however, Sessions was caught at the plate trying to grab the lead.
Mustang stranded two runners to cap the inning, including Anderson, who doubled after the double play, and Rylann Beeson (So.), who reached on a hit-by-pitch.
After two and one-half scoreless frames, Mustang grabbed its first lead.
Left fielder Rylee Hannon (Sr.) led off the bottom of the fourth with an infield single before moving to second on a successful sacrifice bunt by first baseman Emerson Pegram (Sr.). Hannon then moved to third following a bunt single by right fielder Shaye Rowe (Sr.).
The Broncos loaded the bases after a hit-by-pitch drawn by Kierstead, allowing Sessions to step up in the clutch. The senior center fielder came up big with a line-drive sacrifice fly to score Hannon and take a 2-1 lead.
Mustang put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four runs on three hits, a sac-fly, a sac-bunt, and two errors.
Rowe, who went 2-for-3, ignited the run by reaching on an error in the circle before moving to second after a sacrifice bunt by Kierstead.
Rowe moved to third after Sessions reached on the second Jenks error of the inning and then stayed put on a bunt single by McElroy to juice the pads.
Anderson recorded her second double of the game, driving home Rowe and Sessions for a 4-1 advantage. Shortstop Reese Poage (So.) followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring McElroy to make it 5-1. Beeson capped the run in the follow at-bat, pushing across Anderson on a single to center field for a 6-1 lead.
The Broncos played a clean game, striking out just twice at the dish and committing just one error in the field. Sessions also picked up a steal.
Mustang remains unbeaten at 3-0 in District 6A-4 play. Ponca City (11-5, 4-2) sits atop the standings, however, Lacy Darity’s squad owns a nine-point lead in the differential column.
The Broncos will have their chance at the district-leading Wildcats on Tuesday at home. The two teams will also face off in September.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Mustang Softball Complex.