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High school softball: Barnsdall wins Class 2A slowpitch title

The Panthers outslug Soper 17-11 to win a state title for the first time in 59 years under Gilbert.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, skuzydym@opubco.com Published: April 30, 2013

Barnsdall coach Joe Gilbert thought he'd grab a Pepsi or a root beer and drink it to celebrate.

For the first time in his 59 years as Panthers' softball head coach, Gilbert won a state title. Barnsdall defeated Soper, 17-11 on Tuesday.

“We've been runners-up a lot,” Gilbert said. “I thought the way this game started out tonight. I thought, ‘Oh my God. Here's that silver.'”

The Panthers were ranked No. 18 in Class 2A slowpitch going into the tournament, but Gilbert said he was proud of their attitude throughout the season and the playoffs.

On Tuesday night, underneath the lights at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium and with three innings in the record books, Gilbert's Panthers were down 10-4 to Soper.

Then in the top of the fourth, Barnsdall had nine straight singles, scored eight runs and never looked back. The Panthers scored five more in the final two innings.

“We finally got that gold,” he said.

As the softball team celebrated around Gilbert and fans in the stands wiped tears from their eyes, one of the players walked over to him, placed a gold medal around the coach's neck and said, “You're a state champion, Gilbert.”

RATTAN WINS THIRD STRAIGHT

The Rattan Rams cheered and dogpiled near second base, marking the team's third consecutive 3A title. Rattan beat Apache 11-6.

At the top of the seventh, it was tied 4-all.

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