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. 

 

Lady Sandite Softball will take on Mustang in the State Quarterfinals Thursday

Photo: Scott Emigh

Photo: Scott Emigh

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (30-8) is headed to State for the second-straight year after winning their fourteenth Regional Championship last weekend. The District Runner-Up team boasts a long roster of impressive athletes, and is a mostly young team with only three seniors.

The girls will travel to Oklahoma City Thursday and will take on the Mustang Broncos (32-6-1) at 1:30 p.m. on Field 3 of the ASA Hall of Fame Softball Complex. The Sandites and Broncos have yet to meet this year, nor have the Sandites met any of the five teams to beat the Broncos this year. Mustang is, however, undefeated against teams that have beaten the Sandites. They went 1-0 against Jenks, who the Sandites are 1-1 against. They beat Union 5-3 while Sand Springs fell 4-3. They have a win and a tie with Yukon, who the Sandites are 1-1 against. 

A win against Mustang will pit the Sandites against the winner of Owasso (35-3) vs. Moore (29-6). The Sandites have met Owasso only once, on the second gameday of the season, and lost 2-1 in extra innings at the Broken Arrow tournament. Sand Springs has met Moore only once, and dealt them a 4-0 loss at the NSU tournament. The semi final game will be Friday at 2:30, also on Field 3. 

If Sand Springs makes it to the finals, they could play Southmoore (33-2), Union (31-10), Westmoore (28-9), or Yukon (27-6). The Sandites haven't played Southmoore or Westmoore this season. They've met Union once and lost, and split two games with Yukon. The finals will be Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Last year the Sandites were 29-8 going into the State tournament and were district co-champions after splitting games with Yukon. They ended Mustang (33-9)'s five-game winning streak in the quarterfinals 14-6. In the semifinals they ended Moore (34-5)'s thirteen-game winning streak 5-3, but became the thirteenth-straight win for Choctaw (36-7) 4-3 in the Championship game. 

This year the Sandites have played one more game than last year, but otherwise have a nearly identical record overall. In district play they lost two more games than last year and were district runners-up to Yukon, who they split with. The girls have lost some slugging power in Jessica Schuler (.514 batting), Kennedy "Goose" Salyers (.387), and Kalli Mallory (.351), but have improved defensively with fourteen shutouts this season compared to eight last year. This season they win by an average score of 7-2 compared to last year's 7-3. Their batting has drastically improved from the first half of the season to the latter, as well. In their first nineteen games they surpassed ten hits six times and averaged .291 as a team. In the last nineteen games they surpassed ten hits ten times and averaged .360 as a team. 

Oklahoma State University committed senior Sydney Pennington (6-0) is undefeated on the mound this season, but spends most of her time at short stop where she has had a hand in 5 double plays this season. She currently holds a .549 batting average on 102 at bats this season, with 26 singles, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs, 38 RBI (runs batted in), and 45 runs. Coaches frequently won't even allow their teams to pitch to her, and she has been walked 31 times this season--usually intentionally. She has not been struck out once. She gets on base more than 65% of the time and has 2 stolen bases this season. She has not been caught stealing. At the mound she is equally dangerous with a 1.41 ERA (earned run average) and 1.135 WHIP (walks + hits per innings pitched) on 39.6 innings pitched. She has faced 160 batters this season and has given up 23 hits, 18 walks, 9 runs, and 8 earned runs with 29 strikeouts. She throws 61% strikes and has only thrown 6 wild pitches and hit 4 batters this season. 

Sophomore first baseman Elizabeth Luttrell has been in on 2 double plays this season and is sitting at a .426 batting average on 54 at-bats, with 15 singles, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, 18 RBI, and 19 runs.

Sophomore pitcher, shortstop, and third baseman Madelyn Blair (13-2) holds an impressive record on the mound and has been in on 4 double plays this season. She currently holds a .342 batting average on 117 at-bats with 30 singles, 10 doubles, 4 sacrifices, 32 RBI, and 11 runs. She has stolen 1 base and been caught stealing 1 time. At the mound she holds a 1.41 ERA and 1.198 WHIP on 74.3 innings pitched. She has faced 314 batters this season and has given up 55 hits, 17 walks, 23 runs, 15 earned runs, with 53 strikeouts. She throws 69% strikes and has only thrown 2 wild pitches and hit 17 batters this season.

Freshman courtesy runner Makenna Skaggs has racked up the runs for our pitchers this season while seeing limited action at the plate. She holds a .333 batting average on 12 at-bats with 4 singles, 2 RBI, and 21 runs.

Freshman catcher Sabrina Usher holds a .327 batting average on 104 at-bats this season with 17 singles, 16 doubles, 1 home run, 2 sacrifices, 25 RBI, and 25 runs. She has stolen 1 base, been caught stealing once, and been picked off once. 

Senior outfielder Jessica Collins has seen a lot of action in center field this season and has made numerous wild catches to prevent base hits, and has been involved in 1 double play. She currently holds a .324 batting average on 111 at bats this season with 29 singles, 7 doubles, 18 sacrifices, 22 RBI, and 38 runs. She has stolen 5 bases and only been caught stealing once. 

Freshman outfielder Felicity Horn holds a .297 batting average on 101 at-bats this season, with 22 singles, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 4 sacrifices, 14 RBI, and 32 runs. She has stolen 1 base and been caught stealing once. 

Sophomore pitcher and left fielder Jacie Taber (11-6) holds a .292 batting average on 113 at-bats this season, with 23 singles, 9 doubles, 1 home run, 5 sacrifices, 20 RBI, and 19 runs. She has stolen 3 bases and been caught stealing twice. She holds a 1.38 ERA on the mound with a 1.134 WHIP on 112 innings pitched. She has faced 467 batters this season and has given up only 66 hits, 34 walks, 36 runs, 22 earned runs, with 98 strikeouts. She throws 66% strikes and has only thrown 5 wild pitches and hit 27 batters.

Sophomore second baseman Kimi Presnell has been in on 7 double plays this season and holds a .280 batting average on 107 at-bats, with 24 singles, 6 doubles, 4 sacrifices, 16 RBI, and 22 runs. She has stolen 11 bases and only been caught stealing twice. 

Sophomore third baseman Cameron Clemons has been in on 1 double play this season and holds a .274 batting average on 73 at-bats, with 15 singles, 5 doubles, 9 sacrifices, 17 RBI, and 16 runs. 

Senior outfielder Rachel Blair holds a .176 batting average on 74 at-bats this season, with 11 singles, 2 doubles, 6 sacrifices, 5 RBI and 12 runs. 

Jensen Arnold has seen limited play this season and currently holds a .500 batting average on 10 at-bats with 1 single, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBI, and 4 runs.

Freshman first baseman Rachel Jones hasn't seen much action this season, but has been in on one double play. She holds a .000 batting average on 4 at-bats. 

Luttrell hits home run in 8-0 playoff shutout over Claremore

Elizabeth "Lizard" Luttrell hit her second career home run in an 8-0 victory over Claremore. (Photo: Scott Emigh)

Elizabeth "Lizard" Luttrell hit her second career home run in an 8-0 victory over Claremore. (Photo: Scott Emigh)

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (27-7) won their first game of the Regional Tournament by 8-0 shutout Wednesday afternoon at the Sandite Softball Complex. The Lady Sandites defeated the Claremore Red Zebras (11-22) in their first meeting this season and will wait till 6:00 p.m. to face the winner of the Sapulpa (9-18) vs Stillwater (23-12) game.

The Lady Sandites took the lead once and for all in the top of the second inning as freshman Sabrina Usher hit a leadoff double and scored on a double from Elizabeth Luttrell on the very next play.

Luttrell went at it again in the third with a solo home run, then Rachel Blair and Kimi Presnell both hit doubles. Presnell scored Blair, and was in-turn brought in on a single by Felicity Horn. Madelyn Blair hit a single and was replaced by courtesy runner Makenna Skaggs. Skaggs and Horn both scored on a double from Oklahoma State commit Sydney Pennington, who was left stranded as the Sandites came in with a 6-0 advantage. 

Luttrell added yet another run in the top of the fourth, scoring on a 2RBI double from Madelyn Blair that also brought in her sister, Rachel Blair for the final two runs of the game. 

The Zebras landed three hits throughout the game, walked three, and had one reach on an error and another on a fielder's choice, but ultimately stranded six players and scored none in their sixth shutout loss of the season. 

Madelyn Blair (11-2) got her eleventh-straight win on the mound with six strikeouts, against three walks and three hits with zero runs. The sophomore currently holds a 1.31 ERA for the season.

As a team the girls batted .424 with fourteen hits, including seven doubles, and only one strikeout. The girls committed only one error in the game. 

Lady Sandite Softball shaping up for another District Championship battle with Yukon

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (19-4) is the number one team in the district, but the season isn't over yet. The Lady Sandites rode a tidal wave of success in recent weeks, winning fourteen-straight games by an average score of 7-1 before falling 1-0 to Jenks (11-10) on Tuesday. They wasted no time in rebounding from the defeat, however, with a pair of dominating district wins over Enid (6-17) Thursday evening.

The Lady Sandites hold a 10-1 district record that was unblemished before the game with Jenks. After that loss they are now tied in district wins with Yukon (20-4) whom they have already defeated 9-1 earlier this season. Because the Sandites hold the head-to-head advantage with Yukon, they're still number one. The Millers still have time to change that, however. The two teams will get a rematch in Sand Springs next Thursday. 

What happens if Yukon wins? Assuming Yukon wins their district double-header against Enid Monday, which they should, the Millers would claim the district title with a 13-1 record, and the Sandites would come in runners-up with a 12-2 record, assuming they defeat Bixby in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday.

But don't count Bixby out either. With a 9-3 district record, technically they're still in it. If Bixby beats Sand Springs, the Spartans will take the number two seed. If the Sandites and Pacers both top Yukon and Bixby tops Sand Springs, then Bixby takes the district and the Sandites come in runners-up. It's unlikely to work out in the Spartans' favor, but the history books are filled with unlikely outcomes in sports. Remember last year when Sand Springs football lost to both Booker T and Bartlesville, but still ended up in the State Championship?

Ignoring the Spartan sleepers, the district championship game will most likely be played next Thursday, and it wouldn't be the first time the Millers have spoiled it for the Sandites. Last season the Sandites were undefeated in the district after a 7-6 victory over the previously undefeated Millers at home. Then they had to travel to Yukon, and the Millers won 4-0 with the home-field advantage. 

What's different this year is that the Sandites already beat Yukon at Yukon, and it wasn't even close. They've also managed to somehow have a slightly better season, in spite of the fact that last season was already incredible. They win by one more point than last year. They've had two fewer losses, and they've stepped up their defense by a landslide. While they lost big hitters in Jessica Schuler (NSU) and Kennedy "Goose" Salyers (SWOSU), they've made up for the mild dip in offense by allowing far fewer points. This time last year they had won five shutouts. This year they've won ten. 

The girls don't need to win their district, though it would certainly be nice. But if they can beat Bixby to finish in the top two, then they'll get to host their Regional bracket, which can often give a team a huge advantage. The Spartans' three district losses were an 11-2 upset to Sapulpa and a devastating double-header at Yukon which they lost by a combined 29-3. Theoretically, the Sandites should win, but nothing is ever set in stone.

No matter which way things go, the next three games will all be crucial and will make for some grade-A softball that you don't want to miss. Monday's game at Bixby begins at 5:00 p.m., as does Tuesday's home game against Bixby. The Thursday home game against Yukon will begin at 4:00 p.m.

Mid-Season Player Stats

Madelyn Blair has hit 22 singles, 15 doubles, 7 triples, 2 sacrifices, and 22 RBI on 70 at-bats for a .314 batting average, .414 slugging average, and .377 OBP. She has scored 9 runs this season and had a hand in 3 double plays. At the mound she holds a 7-2 record and 1.53 ERA over 45.66 innings pitched. She has struck out 34 batters, given up 35 hits, 6 walks, and has hit 10 players with the pitch. She has only allowed 11 runs and 10 earned runs.

Jessica Collins has hit 18 singles, 3 doubles, 9 sacrifices, and 13 RBI on 66 at-bats for a .318 batting average, .333 slugging average, and .444 OBP. She has scored 27 runs and stolen 5 bases this season. 

Jacie Taber has hit 13 singles, 5 doubles, 1 home run, 4 sacrifices, and 13 RBI on 66 at-bats for a .288 batting average, .394 slugging average, and .338 OBP. She has scored 12 runs and stolen 2 bases this season. At the mound she holds an 8-2 record and 0.89 ERA over 63 innings pitched. She has struck out 53 batters, given up 34 hits, 18 walks, and has hit 12 players with the pitch. She has allowed only 9 runs and 8 earned runs. 

Sydney Pennington has hit 17 singles, 10 doubles, 8 home runs, and 27 RBI on 64 at-bats for a .547 batting average, 1.078 slugging average, and .642 OBP. She has scored 28 runs, stolen 2 bases, and been in on 3 double plays. At the mound she holds a 4-0 record and 1.15 ERA over 30.33 innings pitched. She has struck out 18 batters, given up 17 hits, 12 walks, and has hit 2 players with the pitch. She has allowed only 6 runs and 5 earned runs. 

Kimi Presnell has hit 12 singles, 2 doubles, 2 sacrifices, and 11 RBI on 63 at-bats for a .222 batting average, .254 slugging average, and .319 OBP. She has scored 11 runs this season, stolen 9 bases, and been in on 4 double plays. 

Sabrina Usher has hit 9 singles, 7 doubles, 1 home run, 2 sacrifices, and 14 RBI on 59 at-bats for a .288 batting average, .475 slugging average, and .333 OBP. She has scored 11 runs and stolen 1 base this season.

Felicity Horn has hit 9 singles, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 4 sacrifices, and 6 RBI on 56 at-bats for a .250 batting average, .357 slugging average, and .432 OBP. She has scored 19 runs this season and has stolen 1 base. 

Rachel Blair has hit 8 singles, 1 double, 3 sacrifices, and 3 RBI on 53 at-bats for a .170 batting average, .189 slugging average, and .267 OBP. She has scored 8 runs this season.

Cameron Clemons has hit 11 singles, 5 doubles, 5 sacrifices, and 11 RBI on 52-at bats for a .308 batting average, .385 slugging average, and .400 OBP. She has scored 11 runs this season, stolen 1 base, and had a hand in 1 double play. 

Elizabeth Luttrell has hit 6 singles, 3 doubles, and 5 RBI on 16 at-bats for a .563 batting average, .750 slugging average, and .588 OBP. She has scored 7 runs this season.

Makenna Skaggs has hit 4 singles and 2 RBI on 12 at-bats for a .333 batting average, .333 slugging average, and .467 OBP. She has scored 12 runs this season.

Jensen Arnold has hit 1 single, 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 RBI on 8 at-bats for a .625 batting average, 1.25 slugging average, and .625 OBP. She has scored 4 runs this season.

Rachel Jones has a 0.00 batting average on 4 at-bats this season. She has been in on 1 double play.