SHAWNEE — Kiowa's Rachel Eggleston was able to keep her composure in a high-stakes jam on Friday night.
The senior pitcher for the Class B-No. 1 Cowgirls (39-4) faced adversity as No. 4-ranked Vici had runners at the corners with one out left and trailed Kiowa by just 5-3 Friday in the state quarterfinals.
Eggleston threw a fastball that generated a swing-and-a-miss for the final out and the Cowgirls celebrated clinching a return to the state championship game — which is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at FireLake Ball Fields against No. 6-ranked Whitesboro.
Eggleston's first instinct was to hug her mom, Beverley, afterward.
"I'm not really one to show my emotions a whole lot whenever I'm pitching," Eggleston said. "It wasn't really hard for me to do.
"My girls kept telling me, like 'You're okay. We'll get the next one. Everything's fine,'" she added.
The Cowgirls won despite committing six errors. It was cold during the game, but Kiowa coach Keith Quaid thought that wasn't a factor.
One thing Kiowa had working for it was power — launching three home runs over the left field wall.
Senior Karlie McCormick had a two-run shot with two outs in the top of the first. Junior Sydney Linscott went yard for a solo homer to lead off the top of the second and senior Cadence Howard began the top of the sixth with a solo jack.
Now the Cowgirls face Whitesboro, which they handed a 4-1 loss on Sept. 9.
Quaid said the Cowgirls swung the bats really well in that game, and the Lady Bulldogs made some mistakes that he's anticipating they won't make on Saturday. He said Kiowa must be better than it was in that game, and it must be better than it was Friday night.
"It ought to be a great ballgame — two great ball clubs," Quaid said. "We're looking forward to it."
"Each game is different," McCormick said. "You never know how teams can come out and play. It all just depends on how you play that day and how each two teams compete."
Vici 5, Cyril 0
Kiowa 8, Hammon 2
LeFlore 10, Red Oak 4
Whitesboro 5, Duke 1
Whitesboro 7, LeFlore 3
Kiowa 5, Vici 3
Kiowa vs. Whitesboro, State Championship, 11 a.m.
Contact Corey Stolzenbach at email@example.com