, Muskogee, OK

May 5, 2014

No scouting reports needed for 6A state softball foes

By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor

— They’ve spent much of the season beating up on each other.

Tuesday it’s more of the same, with higher stakes.

The Class 6A state slowpitch softball tournament field, which along with 5A and 4A are set to play Tuesday at the Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee, All eight teams are familiar with each other. But that’s not really much of a surprise because seven of them were in this same situation a year ago. Only No. 7 Tecumseh (25-13) is new, having knocked Jenks off in regional play last week.

But even the newcomer has faced the field. Its 3-7 mark includes a split with Muskogee and an 0-2 mark against Tahlequah.

The last rankings, released April 21, have the teams in the same spots as they fall in the bracket, even after each survived regional tourneys.

No. 5 Muskogee (26-10) is 7-5 going in with a split against its quarterfinal opponent, Moore. The Lady Roughers lost 18-5 to the Lady Lions in the Moore Tournament in late March after beating them 6-3 in the second game of the season. They also had to come through the loser’s bracket in regionals after being stunned by Broken Bow. The last time they had a regional loss was 2009, the last year the Roughers won state.

No. 4 Moore (28-9), meanwhile, is 9-5 against he field with losses also to 5A No. 1 Bethel and A No. 1 Red Oak.

At 34-5 and No. 2 in the OSSAA rankings, Tahlequah has the best record versus the field at 7-3, 2-0 against Muskogee. It has not played Westmoore and is 0-1 vs. Southmoore.

No. 6 Union (27-7) is 5-5 versus the bracket. No. 3 Westmoore (29-7) was 8-6. The Jaguars started 17-2 and finished 6-1 but in a mid-April stretch lost three of five to Moore, Muskogee and Tecumseh.

No. 1 Southmoore (29-5) is 5-4 against state teams but comes in on a seven-game win streak, all against teams they can’t see this week.

Broken Arrow (22-7, No. 8) is 0-5 against the field. The Tigers lost 10-0 to Muskogee and 8-3 to Tahlequah.

Westmoore-Union start things at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The winner meets the survivor of Tahlequah-Tecumseh, set for 11:30 a.m.

Muskogee and Moore tangle at 1 p.m. with the winner getting the survivor of Southmoore and Broken Arrow, who play at 2:30 p.m.

The semifinals follow with the championship game at 7 p.m.

The other area team headed to state is Sequoyah in Class 5A. The Lady Indians at 18-10 and 10th in the class aren’t as familiar with their foes, having defeated No. 12 Henryetta (23-17) and No. 9 Muldrow (25-3) but losing to No. 5 Heavener (33-4) in a regional game last week.  Sequoyah did go against the 6A field often and was 1-6, its only win coming against city rival Sequoyah 5-4 two weeks ago.

Sequoyah gets No. 2 Chandler (28-4) at 1 p.m., the third game of the day in 5A. Top-ranked Bethel (35-5) plays Henryetta at 10 a.m. with No. 3 Purcell (30-6) and Heavener meeting at 11:30 a.m. Those two play in one semifinal while the Sequoyah-Chandler winner gets the victor between No. 4 Cache (25-9) and Muldrow, the last of the quarterfinals at 2:30. The championship in 5A is also at 7 p.m.

Union in 6A and Cache in 5A are defending champions.

The tournament is being played at Firelake, the site of the fastpitch state tournament. The ASA Hall of Fame Complex has been undergoing remodeling and was unavailable.

One advantage of Firelake is that four fields back into a press-score box, making it easy to keep up with multiple games.