Congratulations to the Hilldale High School fastpitch softball team, the Class 4A state champions.
The Lady Hornets earned the school’s first fastpitch title. It’s also the area’s first state title since Oktaha won in 2006 and the first in 4A since Fort Gibson in 1998.
The girls won convincingly with a 7-0 shutout against the No. 6 Bethel Wildcats at the Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee.
The team earned a state tournament berth last year but lost 11-10 in the quarterfinals to Cache.
The Lady Hornets had a stellar season this year and were the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A coming in to the tournament.
We can expect great things from the team again, as every Lady Hornet will be back for another year.
It was a doubly proud moment for Hilldale coach Darren Riddle, who is also the father of pitching powerhouse Destiny Riddle, who threw a shutout and nearly had a no-hitter in the final. The coach also won a state baseball title at the school in 2012.
“I’m not going to say this is more meaningful. Because what is awesome is I’ve got a bunch of my baseball guys over there cheering us on too,” Darren Riddle told the Phoenix after the game. “But with Destiny in the circle it does make it a little different.”
Congratulations to both Riddles, the team and staff on a great season, and we look forward to your next.