Sep. 23—VERDEN — The Verden Lady Tigers are heading back to a regional tournament.
The Verden softball team hosted a Class B district tournament for the second season in a row, and the Lady Tigers won a district tournament for the second season in a row. Verden needed four games to advance last season, but it only needed three games in 2022.
The Lady Tigers went 3-0 in Verden on Thursday, picking up three run-rule victories to win the district crown. The Lady Tigers outscored their opponents 33-6 in the three games.
Verden's first win was a 9-1 victory over Bray-Doyle, and the Lady Tigers followed that win with two wins over Alex. Verden picked up a 12-3 win and a 12-2 win over the Lady Longhorns.
Defensively, Chelsey Singleton picked up two wins in the circle for the Lady Tigers. Offensively, Phaedra Smith recorded 10 RBIs in the three games.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning. Three run-scoring hits in a row brought in those four runs.
Terra Downes and Gracie McMillan each drove in a run in the inning, and Singleton's base hit brought in two runs for the Lady Tigers. Verden went to the fifth inning up 6-1 and scored three more runs to end the game.
Bray-Doyle's only run came in the top half of the fourth inning.
Verden got multiple RBIs from McMillan and Singleton in the win, and Madison McComas earned the pitching win.
The Lady Longhorns did not have an answer for Smith in either of the two games. She totaled six hits and nine RBIs in the two games.
Singleton picked up two pitching wins against the Lady Longhorns.
Smith opened the scoring in Verden's 12-3 win after Kadee Bradford and Haley Edwards got on base with two outs. Smith recorded a base hit that gave the Lady Tigers a 2-0 advantage.
With Verden leading 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, Downes recorded a base hit. With the help of Alex's defense, Downes was able to score on the same play.
Another Smith hit in the fifth inning brought in two runs to put Verden up 5-1. Verden blew the game open in the fifth inning, scoring six runs to go up eight.
Alex made the score 9-3 before Verden added three more runs in the top of the sixth.
After recording a 3-for-4 performance with 4 RBIs in the first meeting, Smith recorded a 3-for-3 performance with five RBIs in the second and final game against the Lady Longhorns.
Alex took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Smith recorded an RBI triple to get Verden within one. McComas got the ball in play after Smith, and Verden added another run as a result.
Bradford's base hit in the second inning plated two runs and gave Verden the lead for good. Smith drove in two more runs after Bradford, and the two players combined for eight RBIs in the final win of the tournament.
With Verden leading 9-2 in the third inning, Smith sent a hard-hit ball to right field. She scored on an inside-the-park home run and added two more RBIs to her total.
Verden secured the win by scoring a final run in the bottom of the fourth inning.'
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association sent Verden to a regional that Stuart will host. Stuart is ranked third in the OSSAA's Class B rankings.
The bracket also has Varnum and LeFlore.