The Lady Tiger fast pitch team completed a very successful and determined summer, consisting of 8 a.m. workouts and the Perry Summer League. Coach Mike Allen said seniors Timber Hammond and Britney Hughes led in a good way and as the fall season gets underway, excitement is in the air.
The team’s regular season kicked off Monday, August 12 with a district game versus a good Bristow team that featured a move in pitcher who kept the Lady Tigers confused and off the bases. Cleveland fell 5-0 and were disappointed, but could not pout because Mannford came to town on Tuesday. The Lady Pirates start nine seniors picked high in 4A. The Lady Tigers were tough and seniors Hammond and Hughes drove in 3 of the 4 runs to put constant pressure. Sophomore pitcher Skyler Wade has been up and down, but threw a good game and the girls played defense behind her. The players held on late and beat a good Mannford team and district foe 4-3 in a thriller. “Freshman shortstop Abby Glasgow and sophomore catcher Bailey Layman have really started strong and are playing well. I was proud of how the team responded to get a big win,” said Coach Allen. “Juniors Madalyn McNac and Avery Baker have shown signs of leadership and finding our team identity.”
The Lady Tigers traveled to the Cushing Tournament over the weekend. The first game Thursday put them against a good Inola team. Skyler Wade started in the circle and Britney Hughes finished there in a 6-4 extra inning win. The game was back and forth and eventually went into international tiebreaker. The Lady Tigers added 2 big runs in extras by freshman Abby Glasgow and sophomore Bailey Layman. Hughes took the circle and ended the threat for the win. The Lady Tigers celebrated for about 2 minutes then rushed to another field to play a Top 5 3A team Henryetta. The girls played solid but made a couple of errors late and lost a 5-2 game that featured a home run by Bailey Layman.
Friday the team played Cushing JV and jumped all over them with hits up and down the line up. The game was over with a 9-1 victory.
The next game was against a 5-0 tradition rich Morris team. Then Lady Tigers hit the ground running and scored 3 quick runs. Madalyn McNac scorched the ball all day at the plate driving in 5 runs between the two games. The girls were fired up and playing well, then the pitching fell apart. The two pitchers gave up a combined 18 walks or hit batters. The Lady Tigers still had chances because of big games at the plate by Hughes, McNac, Glasgow, and Baker. “You cannot expect to win with that many walks,” commented Allen. “There is a toughness that goes with being a 4A pitcher, body language and fight have to always be present. We did not pitch it well at all.” The Lady Tigers fell 11-7 in a game Allen feels they should have won. Cleveland was to face Harrah Saturday, but the rain came and cancelled the tournament.
The team finished their first week 3-3, and 1-1 in district play. “We were up and down as the girls are trying to find their identity as a team. We have girls with experience and some good young talent. We still lack the everyday toughness we need, but we are moving in that direction. The girls’ bats are heating up and defense is solid,” said Allen.
The Lady Tigers have a big week coming up with district games versus Sequoya Claremore away Monday and a home game Tuesday with Skiatook. Friday the girls travel to the Kellyville Festival to play Verdigris at 10 a.m. and Chandler to follow.