Lady Huskies looking forward to start of softball season

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Pawhuska Lady Huskie fans are counting down the hours to Friday’s official start of practices for Oklahoma’s high school fast-pitch softball season.

They have plenty to feel positive about after the PHS squad ended its recent summer campaign with a league-best 10 wins, and just two losses. What’s more, the Lady Huskies also came back to avenge both of their defeats.

Second-year coach Brian Edwards enters the season cautiously optimistic following a 14-18 finish in 2015. Edwards will be looking to replace Pawhuska’s graduated pitching ace Breanna Redeagle with juniors Ashley Henley and Lauren Garrett.

“They’re both are capable of getting the job done,” the coach said.

Four-year starter Sydney Sellers fills a power slot in the lineup while playing third base or catcher. The Lady Huskies are well stocked behind the plate, with a reserve of backstops that includes junior Star Sweeden and freshman Allyssa Reynolds.

Fleet junior Kyleigh Riebel will be a third-year starter in the Pawhuska outfield, where she will be joined by swift senior Darienne Frye. Sophomore returning starter Kianna Taylor may be shifted from infield to outfield as the Lady Huskies seek to replace another graduate, Sarah Phillippi.

Mary Jo Upchurch, a senior, is dependable on offense and can play any of the base positions, while junior Sierra Sellers is a capable defender who swings a potent bat. A freshman, Tatiana Curry, is the likely replacement at shortstop for Pawhuska’s graduated four-year starter, Keylee Kirk.

Pre-season scrimmages are scheduled for the PHS girls on Monday, Aug. 1, at Cleveland and on Tuesday, Aug. 2, in Pawhuska. Opponent for the 11 a.m. home scrimmage will be the Lincoln Christian Lady Bulldogs.

The annual Lady Huskie Alumni Game and Hit-A-Thon is to be held at the McKenzie Road softball field on Saturday evening, Aug. 6.

Pawhuska’s varsity fastpitch season opens at Newkirk on Monday, Aug. 8. The Lady Huskies are to meet the host Lady Tigers at 3:30 p.m. and the Alva Lady Goldbugs at 5:30. PHS will be in the Cushing Softball Tournament from Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 11-13.

The regular-season home opener for the Lady Huskie varsity is set Monday, Aug. 15, against the Pawnee Lady Bears. First pitch will be at 4:30 p.m. A road game at Ponca City is set for Tuesday, Aug. 16. One day later a day (on Wednesday, Aug. 17) Pawhuska schools will open for the first day of local classes.

In the latter part of the season, Pawhuska is to take part in tournaments at Barnsdall and Oklahoma Union. A home contest against Hominy is set for Thursday, Aug. 25, and a local three-teamer with Mannford and Newkirk will be Tuesday, Sept. 6. The last home game of 2016, versus Barnsdall, is scheduled Monday, Sept. 12.

On Aug. 6, players from the Lady Huskies’ junior high softball squad are expected to join in the Alumni Game Hit-a-Thon. Local seventh- and eighth-graders open their season at home Thursday, Aug. 11, against Ponca City and play at Hominy on Friday, Aug. 12. The Pawhuska Junior High Softball Tournament is scheduled Aug. 18-20.