McALESTER — The Organization of Rural Elementary Schools state softball tournament should’ve finished Sept. 28 at the Pittsburg County Softball Complex in McAlester, but when the rains came after the first round, the tournament had to be postponed. The rains returned Saturday, forcing a second postponement of the tournament until Tuesday.
In the longest ORES tournament in coach Kris Mitchell’s career, the Frink-Chambers Lady Falcons went 1-2 overall and finished fifth.
Frink-Chambers lost to Lukfata, 7-3, on Sept. 27. The team stayed alive by beating Zion, 6-4, on Tuesday, then lost to South Rock Creek later that day, 11-1.
“I just don’t think we ever got our composure back,” Frink coach Kris Mitchell said Wednesday.
“We played one game, and we got beat that one, and they were pumped and ready to go for the next one. We had a good week of practice, we worked on our mistakes that we had and they were really set, ready to go. And then whenever I had to send out that group-text telling them that we weren’t even playing that day, you could tell by their test messages back. It was just ‘What are we going to do now?’”
The Lady Falcons had gone 3-0 during pool play on Sept. 20. With much muddier conditions Tuesday at the Complex, Mitchell said, Frink-Chambers couldn’t play the kind of defense that had been its calling card all season.
“We were right on target during pool play,” Mitchell said. “We were hitting the ball, we were seeing the ball, we were making plays. We turned at least two double plays every game all year, and we didn’t turn a double play during the actual tournament.”
Mitchell said the Lady Falcons needed that defense because starting pitcher Carlee Eaton was a contact pitcher good at keeping balls low in the strike zone. An eighth-grade student, Eaton converted from outfield to pitcher this year at Mitchell’s request.