Sydney Pennington and Jessica Collins make All-State Fast Pitch team

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The High School Fast Pitch Softball season came to a close several weeks ago as the Charles Page team fell 10-2 at the State Tournament. The girls finished the season with 30 wins to only 8 losses, took second place in their district, and won the Regional Tournament for the second-straight year. 

Two Sandite Seniors were named to the Oklahoma Large East All-State team. Oklahoma State University commit Sydney Pennington was selected as a midfielder and Jessica Collins was selected as a utility player. 

Pennington finished her Senior year with a .543 batting average with 27 singles, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs, 38 RBI and 45 runs on 105 at-bats. Those numbers would be a lot higher if coaches weren't too afraid to pitch to her. Pennington was walked 31 times this season, most of which was intentional. She never once struck out, and she was two for two on base stealing. She was also in on five double plays. In addition to playing short stop, she also spent time on the mound and pitched just under forty innings. She finished the season undefeated with a 6-0 record, 1.41 ERA, and 1.135 WHIP (Walks + Hits per innings pitched). She threw 61% strikes. 

Collins finished the year with a .316 batting average with 29 singles, 7 doubles, 22 RBI, 39 runs, and 19 sacrifices on 114 at-bats. She was five for six on base stealing and was involved in one double play. Her older sister, Mallory, was also an All-State player in 2013. 

The addition of Pennington and Collins brings the all-time Sand Springs All-State roster to 39. Only nine schools had more than one All State player on the two Large teams. Only four teams had three All-State players, and Sand Springs only even had three Seniors. 

The whole team was recognized at Monday evening's Sand Springs Board of Ed meeting. Head Coach Shelli Brown was presented with a Coin of Excellence and the team received a plaque recognizing their accomplishments. The girls fell short of the State Title on the diamond, but they were named the Academic State Champions with a team GPA of 3.85. School Superintendent Sherry Durkee expressed her opinion that the Academic State Championship was even more impressive and important than the athletic Championship.

The All-State game will be played in June at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond.

2016 Lady Sandite roster:

Jensen Arnold
Madelyn Blair
Rachel Blair
Cameron Clemons
Jessica Collins
Felicity Horn
Rachel Jones
Elizabeth Luttrell
Sydney Pennington
Kimi Presnell
Makenna Skaggs
Jacie Taber
Sabrina Usher


All-State Lady Sandites:

1986 - Tina Smalley, Ashley Burgess
1987 - Andi Sallee, Tricia Spencer
1988 - Cori Jones
1990 - Danielle Miller, Marsha Rogers
1993 - Jamie Pennington, Kendra Williams
1994 - Debra Collins, Rachel Phillips
1995 - Tiffany Redding, Jenny Kennemer
1996 - Jennifer Bottoms
1997 - Tauni Kennemer, Angie Smalley
1999 - Shawna Wright
2000 - Lindsey Dyer, Brandi Horn
2001 - Patty Keho, Jessica Clark, Danielle Blackwell
2002 - Erin Bouse
2003 - Amanda Hale, Sara Dyer
2004 - Melanie Skinner
2006 - Alyssa Poole
2008 - Ashlynn Kelley
2010 - Madison Thompson, Darrian Williams, Joely Rogers
2012 - Taylor Perdue
2013 - Mallory Collins, Hailey Andrews, Kasey Burgess
2015 - Jessica Schuler, Kennedy "Goose" Salyers
2016 - Sydney Pennington, Jessica Collins.