Like several of her Owasso teammates, Emilee Norton recently had been struggling at the plate.
“I’ve been working really hard in the cages. I’ve been working on not pulling (the ball). So I fixed it,” said the Ram senior.
Norton corrected her swing just in time for a three-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday, Aug. 27, that enabled Owasso to break away for a 5-1 win over Jenks in District 6A-3 play.
Norton’s hit was just one of six for Owasso, which had its hands full in trying to solve Trojans starting pitcher Jordyn Pipkin until the three-run sixth.
Lily Shaw got the win for the Rams, who improved to 10-4 overall and took over sole possession of first place in the district at 4-0. Shaw went 5 1/3 innings before Avery Tallman took over in the sixth and finished things off to get the save. Both Ram pitchers had to work in and out of jams at times as they combined to stranded 11 Jenks base runners.
Shaw’s best Houdini impression came in the fourth when Jenks loaded the bases with one out before she induced a force out at home and a groundout to get the inning unscathed and just a 1-0 deficit.
The Owasso offense finally broke through against Pipkin in the bottom half of the frame with a pair of runs to take a 2-1 advantage. Paige Knight led off with a single and Shaw followed with a base hit to center. After Payton Compton pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Aaliyah Ahmed smashed a ball that deflected off of a Jenks infielder and into shallow left field. Ahmed scored both runners and ended up with a double.
Owasso maintained a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Jenks again threatened against Shaw as it put two runners on base with one out, which brought in Tallman from the bullpen. She retired the next two Trojan batters to end the threat.
“I was thinking we’ve got a one-run lead and I’ve got to do what I can to keep it,” Tallman said. “I thought I’ve just got to hit my spots.”
The Rams now have a couple of days off to prepare for their trip to the St. Louis area over the weekend. Owasso will compete in the Cor Jesu Haberstroh Invitational. The Rams begin tournament play on Friday with a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m. against Parkway (Missouri) North and Affton (Missouri). Owasso then faces tourney host Cor Jesu at 9 a.m. Saturday before a bracket play game.