OKLAHOMA CITY - This was one time where the wait wasn't worth it.
Their game pushed back almost three hours due to preceding contests that ran long, Welch suffered a 5-0 loss to Velma-Alma here Thursday night in the Class A state fast-pitch softball tournament.
The Lady Wildcats were their own worst enemy, committing five errors - three leading to runs.
Velma-Alma - the only team in the field with a losing record (21-25) - now faces Fort Cobb-Broxton today in a semifinal game. Fort Cobb-Broxton advanced with a 3-2 decision against Dewar.
Defending state champ Sterling needed 12 innings to oust Bray-Doyle. That's what started the domino effect - Welch's 6:15 p.m. game didn't get started until 8:51 p.m. and didn't wrap up until 10:23 p.m.
Depew routed Keota 6-2 in the other first-round game.
Sterling and Depew meet in the other semifinal at noon. The finals will be Saturday at 11 a.m.
This marked the second straight year the Lady Wildcats had exited in the first round and it denied standout pitcher Kalleigh Chrz and her WHS teammates a shot at a state title.
Velma-Alma took advantage of the first Welch error in the second inning.
Laurean Dennis led off with a single but was erased when Hayeli Southerland hit into a fielder's choice. McKenzie Cogswell attempted to bunt the runners over, but Chrz uncorked a wild throw that sailed into right field.
Both runners scored as a result.
The Lady Comets rattled off three straight singles to generate its second run. Shelby Hays started the two-out rally with a base hit, then pitcher Kyla Sutton drilled a hit up the middle. Dennis drove in the run with a single to center.
Things completely came unraveled for Welch in the bottom of the sixth when another three errors led to a final two runs.
Cogswell started the inning by reaching on the first error. She stole second and went to third on a wild throw.
Chrz retired the next two batters, but walked Micah Thompson and Rindi Alexander. Another wild throw while fielding a bunt allowed Cogswell and Thompson to score.
Welch had runners on base in each of the first four innings, but couldn't break through against Sutton.
Their best chance came in the third, when Kristen Marlow beat out an infield single. She went to third on a wild pitch and was sent to second by Ashley Marlow.
However, Sutton got Chrz on a comebacker to the circle, then Kirsten Leppla grounded out to short.
Sutton retired 11 of the final 12 batters she faced.
Sierra Hankins led off the seventh with a walk, but Erin Snedden struck out then Allison Chenoweth hit into a fielder's choice to take out Snedden.
Sutton needed only three pitches to strike out Emily Kelley, ending the game.
The singles by the Marlows were the only hits the Lady Wildcats would collect. Sutton struck out nine and issued just the two walks.
Chrz wrapped up her career on a bittersweet note. She struck out 10 and scattered six hits.
Dennis had two of the hits, while Cheyenne Wright, Alexander, Hays and Sutton chipped in with one each.