Sometimes the final score indicates the way a game was played. Sometimes it does not.
Looking at the final score of Oneida’s 23-7 win over Coalfield Monday afternoon, one would never guess that the game was as close as it was most of the way.
And, yet, the two teams were tied at seven through four innings, and Oneida led just 8-7 going into the sixth.
But in the final two innings, the Lady Indians simply took control.
Coalfield, which entered this week’s District 4-A tournament at Bear Creek as the No. 2 seed, grabbed an early 2-0 lead over the No. 3 Lady Indians, but Oneida’s batting order slapped the ball all over the field and slowly wore down the Yellow Jackets.
After striking out four of the first five batters she faced, Coalfield pitcher Diana Ratcliffe saw Oneida finally get on track when Alli Neal hit an RBI double in the top of the second inning. Neal would go on to score, as well, tying the game at two.
Oneida took a 4-2 lead in the third, only to see Coalfield bounce back, then went up 7-4 with a two-out rally in the fourth — again, only to see Coalfield strike right back with a two-out rally of its own and tie the game at 7.
Kassidy West’s two-out RBI single scored Kennedi Reed in the bottom of the sixth to give Oneida the lead for good.
The Lady Indians began to take control in the sixth, scoring seven runs. A two-run RBI by Presley West scored Amanda May and Jenna Bridges, while a sacrifice RBI by Reed scored West. An RBI single by Neal and two-run single by May capped the inning.
But things would just get worse for Coalfield in the seventh. An RBI double by Micah Stephens scored West, and RBI singles by Kassidy West and Jasmine Jones pushed the lead to double digits.
May earned the win for Oneida, her 14th of the season.
Oneida was to have faced top-seeded and undefeated Oliver Springs on Tuesday evening at Bear Creek.
A win against the Bobcats would have placed the Lady Indians in today’s (Thursday’s) 5:30 p.m. championship game. A loss would have left Oneida needing a win over Wartburg or Coalfield in the losers’ bracket yesterday (Wednesday).