(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
ORAN -- Just one day after her teammate Anna Jones threw a no-hitter against Delta, Oran freshman Tatum May continued the Lady Eagle's string of stellar pitching against visiting Sikeston.
Locked in a pitcher's duel against the Lady Bulldog's Paige Sailors, May made the Lady Eagle's fifth inning rally hold up for a 1-0 shutout over Sikeston.
"We just had a no-hitter yesterday and then Tatum comes back and throws a little gem today," Oran head coach Jim Eftink said. "This is the best game Tatum has pitched and it's the first time she's pitched a complete game this year."
Though Sikeston actually outhit the Lady Eagles 6-4, May and Oran's defense was able to prevent any damage. The Lady Bulldogs put runners on in each of the first five innings, but as the Lady Eagles entered the bottom of the fifth, things remained scoreless.
It was in that faithful fifth inning that leadoff hitter Addie Kielfhner got the game's lone rally started by bunting for a base hit and then stealing second. Chrissy Sauceda came to the plate and bunted Kielhofner over to third base before Morgan Todt brought her home on a close play at the plate.
Trying to bring Kielhofner home, Todt laid down a bunt that was fielded and thrown to first base for an initial out. Breaking home when the Lady Bulldogs decided to take the out at first, however, Kielhofner beat a high throw to the plate to give Oran the 1-0 edge.
"I think we should have had that play, but just some things didn't go our way," Sikeston head coach Tiffany Morgan said.
With their newfound lead, Oran went on to send the Lady Bulldogs down in order in the sixth before Sikeston came back up for the final time in the seventh.
Trying to at least force extra innings, the Lady Bulldogs kept their hopes alive when Sailors and Hanna Placek put together back-to-back, one-out singles before runners moved to second and third with two outs.
Unfortunately for Sikeston, a slap bunt back to the pitcher was thrown to first base to seal a win.
Oran is now 10-6 on the season.
"We couldn't get the timely hit," Morgan said. "It's all about small ball and today it showed."
Holding off Sikeston's late comeback attempt, May finished the day pitching seven scoreless innings allowing six hits and two walks while striking out three.
"We played really well," May said. "Our defense has come a long way."
Added Eftink, "All year long we've had that one inning that's came back to bite us and today we just played the perfect game.
"Our defense was strong and the pitching was awesome."
Despite not coming away with the win, Sailors finished with one of her best outings of the year. In seven innings, she allowed four hits and two walks.
"My pitcher did excellent," Morgan said. "We just couldn't execute when we had runners on and just little costly defensive things that we should have executed on."
Leading Sikeston's offensive effort on the day was Placek, who finished 2 for 3 with a double.
With the loss the Lady Bulldogs fall to 6-8 on the season. They'll pick things back up when they wrap up the Notre Dame Softballfest this Saturday at Kelso.
Sikeston 000 000 0 - 0
Oran 000 010 x - 1
WP -- Tatum May. LP -- Paige Sailors. Multiple hitters: (S) Hannah Placek 2-3. 2B -- (S) Placek; (O) Chrissy Sauceda.