Rain didn’t always stay away in summer softball campaign

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Rain didn’t always stay away in summer softball campaign

Games were won, others were lost and some were rained out.

A wetter-than-normal June forced several cancellations in the course of a four-week summer league for the Pawhuska High School Lady Huskies softball team. The month-long campaign concluded last Thursday with a three-team tripleheader at PHS’s McKenzie Street field.

The Class 3A Lady Huskies were shut out in the opener against the 4A Cleveland Lady Tigers before collecting themselves for their mid-day finale against another larger-class squad, the Vinita Lady Hornets.

“It’s been a good summer,” PHS assistant coach Danny Chronister said. “We’ll have a couple of weeks off and be ready for the regular school season to start the first of August.”

In last week’s league game against Cleveland, a tough start for the Lady Huskies avalanched into a 14-0 defeat. The Lady Tiger leadoff batter got down 0-2 in the count before reaching on a check-swing single that set off a five-run first inning for the visitors. Keylee Kirk was hit by a pitch to start the Pawhuska first, which produced no runs despite singles by Sarah Phillippi and Star Sweeden. The visitors scored four times in the second and added five more in the third, while the local bats remained silent.

PHS will put a veteran unit on the diamond this year after graduating just two players from a district-winning team. Baseball coach Brian Edwards takes over at the helm for the Lady Huskies, replacing Olivia Chronister — who has left coaching but will remain with the school district as a guidance counselor.

Exhibition games are slated at Cleveland on Monday, Aug. 3, and at home (versus Lincoln Christian) on Tuesday, Aug. 4. The Lady Huskies’ Alumni Game will be held Saturday evening, Aug. 8, before the 2015 fall season begins at Newkirk on Monday, Aug. 10. The first home contest is set Tuesday, Aug. 11, against Dewey, before the Pawhuska girls take to the road for the Cushing Tournament Aug. 13-15. Other games on the tentative schedule include: Monday, Aug. 17, at Caney Valley; Tuesday, Aug. 18, home versus Tonkawa; Monday, Aug. 24, at Morris; Tuesday, Aug. 25, home versus Barnsdall.

On Monday, Aug. 31, the Lady Huskies are scheduled to play at home against Caney Valley; Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Hominy; Thursday, Sept. 3, home versus Cleveland; Friday, Sept. 4, at Bartlesville; Tuesday, Sept. 8, home against Mannford and Pawnee; Monday, Sept. 14, at Barnsdall; Thursday, Sept. 17, at Sperry; Monday, Sept. 21, away versus Cushing and Pawnee. Other tournaments for PHS will be at Barnsdall, Dewey, Kellyville and Lincoln Christian in Tulsa. The Class 3A Districts pairings are set to start Thursday, Sept. 24.

A year ago, the Lady Huskies hammered out 10 triumphs while losing more than 20 a year ago. The locals emerged in the postseason, however, and won their district by sweeping two straight on the road at Kellyville. Pawhuska also took one of three contests in its regional tourney. The PHS girls lost 10 in a row to start the 2014 season and were hindered by a schedule that included only six home contests.

Senior pitcher Breanna RedEagle leads a Pawhuska staff that also includes a pair of quality underclassmen — Lauren Garrett and Ashley Henley. Seniors Kirk, Phillippi and Brittney Summers, juniors Sydney Sellers and Mary Jo Upchurch and sophomores Star Sweeden, Kyleigh Reibel and Henley are among the top returning hitters. Other returnees include Sierra Sellers, Darienne Frye, Aubrie Walker, Toni Horn, Hailey Towell and Beth Horn. Freshmen seeing action in the summer league included Kiana Taylor and Kailee Kennedy.