Article:    
High school softball: Westmoore rallies past Edmond North for first fastpitch title
11/7/2018 9:05 AM

SHAWNEE — There was always a bit of doubt around the Westmoore softball team.

Doubt from the outside that the Jaguars could continue impressive comebacks in pressure-packed situations. Doubt from within that the elusive fastpitch title would ever happen.

That's why tears were shed Wednesday night during the celebration.

“It means everything,” Westmoore junior Kailey Gamble said. “We were just so excited we pulled through. We won everything.”

Gamble provided the comeback blows with two two-run doubles in Westmoore's 8-4 comeback victory over Edmond North at The Ball Fields at Firelake to win the Class 6A state championship for the first time in program history.

Westmoore has been a slowpitch power, winning 11 titles, including last spring's. But the Jaguars have always fallen short in the fall.

They entered the tournament with two runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008.

Westmoore coach Jenny Rollins has spent the past decade trying to get her team to take the next step. That's why she changed things up in the offseason.

The players didn't play together. Instead, they worked out together and bonded.

“It's just a confidence thing for them, just to see that they can,” Rollins said. “Once they could see that they could do it it's not a thing anymore.

“I think a little chemistry and just trusting each other and believing they could. We also had more than one pitcher, which helps.”

Westmoore did have two pitchers, but it primarily relied on junior Hannah Harrison throughout the tournament. Against Edmond North, she held the Huskies to four runs and nine hits, biding time for the offense to wake up.

“I knew my team was behind me and they had my back, so I could just go out there and (be) me,” Harrison said.

Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, Claira Skaggs tied the game with a run-scoring single. Gamble followed with a go-ahead two-run double.

Needing more insurance runs, Gamble added another two-run double in the top of the seventh and then scored on a double by Aynslee Linduff.

“We like to make it interesting,” Rollins said. “Someone asked me if I was nervous. I kept waiting for us to start hitting. Once we start hitting, I'm not worried about it because it's contagious. Once they start, then they see and feed off the one in front of them.”

It was the third time in the tournament Westmoore rallied from behind to win.

This one was quite worth the comeback for a celebration long overdue.

“That's insane,” Gamble said. “I don't even understand why. We just pulled through. We never got down on ourselves.”

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