Hilldale didn’t have a regular-season tune-up before heading into the annual fastpitch meat grinder known as the Broken Arrow Tournament.
While the starting quarterback may be the biggest question mark for Oklahoma State football this fall, there is also concern on the defensive side.
NORMAN — As Oklahoma practiced earlier this month, Ruffin McNeill oversaw a small cluster of outside linebackers doing a drill within a corner of OU’s rugby complex.
It’s the time of year where, with media days and the start of preseason practices, the same words phrases roll off the tongues of both coaches and players.
OKTAHA — For the host Lady Tigers, it was a different day altogether from their eight-inning opener on Monday.
For the visiting Lady Tigers, it was about seizing enough moments with a bit of an eye-opening lineup in their season opener.
Jordan Hayes cracked a two-run double with one out in the seventh and after Bayleigh James reached on a fielding error by pitcher Cayton Sloan, Nia Polzin doubled home a pair. The five-run inning erased a two-run deficit and then Courtney Hill retired Oktaha in order in the bottom of the frame to win 10-7.
Oktaha (1-1) was coming off an eight-inning win at Muskogee on Monday, one in which they played errorless ball while Sloan scattered four hits. In this contest, four of Fort Gibsons runs were unearned. Oktaha had four errors.
Oktaha posted a four-run first, highlighted by RBI singles from Brynn Surmont and Karli Ashing, and held that 4-0 lead until Fort Gibson answered with four in the third. Fort Gibson took a 5-4 lead on Polzin’s solo home run in the fourth.
A three-run sixth put Oktaha back up up, all without the benefit of a hit. Karley Fewel reached on an error at short by Bayleigh James, an error at third by Erica Hornback followed with two outs off a grounder by Mya Allen. Back-to-back walks by Hill pushed across a run, Jocelynn Williams hit into a fielder’s choice to score run and Surmont scored on a wild pitch.
Hill redeemed herself with a single that pushed Hayes, the go-ahead run in the seventh, to third. It was one of two hits for the fourth-year pitcher who has seldom if ever picked up a bat as a high school player.
Outside of the cages, so says coach Joe Obregon.
So, hitting cleanup?
“Just doing what coach tells me,” said Hill, who added she doesn’t hit on her travel ball team either. “No pressure because I haven’t hit the past four years, ever.”
Polzin, meanwhile, looked like a cleanup bat in the seven hole with a team-best three RBIs.
“On the home run ball I had to scoot up on the plate because my coach told me she was going to pitch outside. The (hit in the seventh) was inside. I just try and work hard for the team whatever spot Im in.”
Obregon didn’t mince words about Hill.
“I know she can hit. She’s in the cages, she does all the same drills as the others,” Obregon said.
Hannah Thouvenel was 3-for-4 in the two hole behind Gracie Williams, who was 2-for-4.
Oktaha coach Kia Holmes, whose squad looked early like a 2-0 start was coming its way, shrugged at the contrast between her team’s first two outings.
“Our bats went cold after that first inning. It was like we got satisfied,” she said. “Defensively I think we made mistakes at crucial times but overall didn’t play that bad.”
Hill scattered six hits and walked three, Four of her seven runs were unearned. Sloan gave up 10 hits, struck out five and walked two.
“Cayton has thrown a lot in two days, this early, and a good eight innings yesterday,” Holmes said. “I probably should have given her a break late. That’s on me. Even coaches make mistakes.”
Surmont was 3-for-3 and Ashing 2-for-3 to lead Oktaha.
“This is a good matchup for our area, playing a good team like Karli, and I think we’re going to be good,” said Obregon, who lost four starters off last year’s quarterfinalist in Class 4A.
“We lost four but we gained some good young players,” Thouvenel said. “I think we’ll be good.”
Fort Gibson is in the Broken Arrow Invitational later this week. Oktaha is in an early season Big Eight Conference tournament starting Thursday at Vian.
With the temperature sitting at the century mark and the head coach on IR, the Muskogee Lady Roughers opened the fast pitch softball season dropping a 1-0 decision to Oktaha in eight innings at Rougher Park Monday evening.
Hilldale head coach David Blevins leads the Hornets in a midnight practice Monday morning. Hilldale opens the season at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at Sequoyah. Gore, Haskell and Warner are among schools that begin their seasons on Aug. 30.
When Robert Stevenson interviewed for the Muskogee boys tennis job, there was one question that never went asked, even while assistant athletic director James Platter prodded him for it.
If you want to be inspired about the possibilities of rock and mineral collecting, you need to look no further than the Elsing Museum at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, referred to as “God’s Natural Art Museum”.
The gut-punch Three Rivers took in the seventh inning on Thursday that sent them to the consolation bracket of the American Legion Mid-South Regional lasted another full day, and with it, came the end of their run Friday.
Pitching has been the staple from which Three Rivers’ success has come in American Legion baseball this season.
Chanse Sylvie couldn’t help but stand out in his blue vest. With the Oklahoma safety’s shoulders rolling out the top of his sleeves, he had to have been one of the most physically imposing employees working for Walmart this summer.
With the season opener less than a month away, and the Oklahoma State football team nearly a week into fall camp, Cowboy coach Mike Gundy felt Tuesday was a good time to ramp up the competition with his Cowboys as they held their first day in full pads.
New Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch says a change in attitude and culture is more important than any changes in schemes as the Sooners try to restructure an unit that ranked 101st in total defense and 130th in pass defense a year ago.
Three Rivers Bandits begins the American Legion baseball Mid-South Regional — their first regional in a history spanning a quarter-century — in Hastings, Nebraska, on Wednesday against Texarkana, Texas, at 9:30 a.m.
MOUNT VERNON, Texas (AP) — Art Briles was back at his roots Monday, coaching a high football team in Texas after a season in Italy and more than three years after the two-time Big 12 champion coach was fired by Baylor in the wake of a sexual assault scandal.
It’s difficult to see exactly what happened to Robert Barnes on the night of Dec. 29, 2018, when Oklahoma was playing Alabama in the Orange Bowl. But in the aftermath, he couldn’t practice football at full strength for nearly eight months.
It wasn’t just Tylan Wallace’s 12 touchdown catches on the season – including several caught between two defenders such as in the Texas game – that got the fan base in Boone Pickens Stadium hollering for the Oklahoma State wide receiver.
During the prep football media conclave hosted by Bravado Wireless with the Phoenix staff taking part in, I got some nice insight into the mind of one Jacob Barrett.
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard didn't get double-digit carries in a game last season until November. Now, he's a preseason All-Big 12 selection.
Oklahoma’s offense hasn’t just been prolific the past two seasons. It has been among the nation’s most responsible with the football.
Friday's Cash Money circuit late model series race at Thunderbird Speedway, as well as the regular weekly points division races, have been cancelled due to early rain and the continued threat of rain later today.
Two locals will again take their shot at showing something to the guys from the Show-Me State that are dominating at the top of the Cash Money Late Model Series that makes its third stop of the season at Thunderbird Speedway.
STILLWATER – Mike Gundy wanted to make it easy on media members following Oklahoma State football’s fall camp opening practice inside the Sherman E. Smith Training Center.
For Oklahoma, it’s simple to see at a position such as receiver, where freshmen Theo Wease, Trejan Bridges, Jadon Haselwood and Austin Stogner can contribute immediately this season.
This Week's Circulars
Jackie Ann Davidson, 71, homemaker, died Friday, August 16, 2019. No services are scheduled at this time. Foster-Petering Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent to www.foster-petering.com
56, Administrative Assistant, passed Thursday , August 15, 2019. Service is 1:00pm Thursday, August 22, 2019 at Cornerstone Chapel. Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory 1830 N York St. Muskogee, OK 74403
Woods, Albert, 88yrs, Minister, died August 15, 2019. Visitation, 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., Saturday, August 17, at Bradley Funeral Home. Services, 10:00 a.m., Monday, August 19, United Pentecostal Church, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Bradley Funeral and Cremation Service.
Funeral Services 2:00 pm Friday, August 16, 2019 at Keefeton Free Will Baptist Church. Interment will follow at McLain Cemetery.
- Emergency teachers failing to finish certification
- Gerson: The return of America’s cruelest passion
- Boy pulled from Fort Gibson Lake dies
- Woman arrested on day care child abuse complaint
- Prep fastpitch preview: Usual suspects should be at the top again
- Ex-Rougher first woman to coach African women’s national team
- Former day care employee charged with abuse
- Clorox donates $30,000 to Webbers Falls Schools
- Muskogee man sentenced for threats, stalking, indecent exposure
- HASHMARKS: Move-in QB gives wake-up call to dulled senses