By CRAIG HALL
POTEAU–Poteau is still alive in the Class 4A regional fast pitch softball tournament, but the Lady Pirates’ road to the state tournament hit a major roadblock Wednesday afternoon.
Fort Gibson jumped out to a 5-0 lead through two innings and held off a late rally to edge Poteau, 5-4, in the winners bracket finals.
Poteau will now have to win three games Thursday to make the state tournament.
The Lady Pirates play Stilwell at noon today with the winner of that game playing Fort Gibson at 2 p.m. If Fort Gibson wins that contest, the Lady Tigers advance to the state tournament. If Poteau or Stilwell win, another game will be played at 4 p.m.
Fort Gibson scored two runs in the first inning and added three in the second to build the early 5-0 lead. Poteau’s bats did not get cranked up until the fifth inning.
Briley Benson singled and Gabba Wilson reached on an error. Brenna Vise doubled to score both runners before RaeLynn Caldwell’s single brought in Vise.
In the sixth, the Lady Pirates loaded the bases and pulled within one when Vise was hit by a pitch to force in a run to cut the deficit to 5-4.
After holding Fort Gibson in the top of the seventh, Poteau was retired in order in the bottom half of the inning to lose, 5-4.
Poteau opened the tournament with an 8-3 win over Stilwell. Fort Gibson blanked Broken Bow, 7-0, and Stilwell eliminated Broken Bow, 7-3.