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. 

Lady Sandite Softball hammers Jay 14-2 in three innings

Photo: Scott Emigh

Photo: Scott Emigh

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (23-6) dropped the hammer on Jay (16-15) Saturday afternoon at the Northeastern State University high school tournament and needed only three innings to secure a 14-2 victory. Madelyn Blair (10-2) got the start and win on the mound with one hit, two runs, and three walks in one inning. Makenna Skaggs (0-0) made her varsity pitching debut and threw two strikeouts with one hit in two innings at the mound.

SEE RELATED: Jacie Taber pitches no-hitter in 1-0 tournament win over Muskogee

SEE RELATED: Elizabeth Luttrell's three-run homer secures 4-0 shutout over Moore

Jay took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Marissa Lokey and Jessie Summerfield both drew walks. Jade Creekkiller reached on a fielder's choice to out courtesy runner McKenzie Buzzard at third, and Caitlin Taylor walked to load the bases. Haley Dry sent a double into left field to score Summerfield and Creekkiller for the brief lead, but it wouldn't last long.

Dry went to the mound in the bottom of the first and gave up a walk to Felicity Horn who scored on a triple from Oklahoma State commit Sydney Pennington. Jacie Taber walked and Blair reached on a failed fielder's choice to load the bases. Skaggs went in to run for Blair. Sabrina Usher reached on a failed fielder's choice to score Pennington, Cameron Clemons walked to score Taber, and Kimi Presnell reached on an error to score Skaggs and Usher. Elizabeth Luttrell singled to score Clemons for the 6-2 advantage, but was put out advancing on the play and Jessica Collins grounded out to third to bring the scoring melee to an end.

Skaggs took the mound in the top of the second and struck out Jade Frazier swinging. Lokey popped an infield fly to Presnell at second base, and Kyla Rogers was put out at first on a dropped third strike.

The Sandites tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the second. Pennington and Taber were both put out to start the inning, but the girls got on track as Blair reached on an error and Usher hit a single. Skaggs ran courtesy for Blair and scored on a single from Clemons. Usher came home on a single from Presnell, and Luttrell singled to score Clemons. Horn put the exclamation mark on the inning with a two-run triple to score Presnell and Luttrell, but was put out at home to bring the inning to a close at 11-2. 

Creekkiller hit a double in the top of the third but was left stranded to bring in the Sandites for the duration.

Collins drew a walk to start things off and was joined on base by Pennington and Taber who hit singles. Collins scored on a passed ball and Usher hit a two-run single to bring in Pennington and Taber as time expired and the girls won 14-2. 

Elizabeth Luttrell's three-run homer secures 4-0 shutout over Moore

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (22-6) traveled to Tahlequah Friday for the Northeastern State University high school tournament and secured a pair of wins behind pitchers Jacie Taber (9-4) and Madelyn Blair (9-2). Elizabeth Luttrell hit her first career home-run in a 4-0 shutout of District One Runner-Up Moore (23-5) to score three runs. 

SEE RELATED: Jacie Taber pitches no-hitter in 1-0 tournament win over Muskogee

SEE RELATED: Lady Sandite Softball hammers Jay 14-2 in three innings

The two teams were knotted up for the most of the game and it was anyone's game till Luttrell put it away in the bottom of the fourth. 

Blair hit two batters in the top of the first, but both were left stranded as the other three grounded out. Jessica Collins landed the first hit of the game in the bottom of the first with a single to short, but was left stranded. Neither team got on base in the second inning.

In the top of the third Kennedy Jackson singled and was joined on base by Kamrie Harrison, but both were stranded. Kimi Presnell put the Sandites ahead in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff double to left field and scored on a single from freshman Felicity Horn. Horn was put out at second, but Collins and Pennington singled and Taber was walked to load the bases. Moore saved the inning, however, as Madelyn Blair flied out to second base.

The Lions threatened in the top of the fourth as Carlee Geissler singled and Taylor McKittrick was hit by pitch. They were both replaced by courtesy runners who were both put out on fielders' choices in the corresponding plays to prevent a run.

In the bottom of the fourth Presnell and Sabrina Usher both singled and came home on Luttrell's home run for the 4-0 advantage. 

Amanda Moreno hit a double in the top of the fifth and Pennington was walked in the bottom, but neither scored and the game came to a close with the Sandites' twelfth shutout win of the season. It was the first time this year that the Lions had been shut out and brought an end to their six-straight winning streak. 

Blair got the win on the mound with three hits, zero runs, one strikeout, and four walks. Presnell was two-for-two at the plate with two runs, a single, and a double.

Jacie Taber pitches no-hitter in 1-0 tournament win over Muskogee

Photo: Scott Emigh

Photo: Scott Emigh

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Sophomore pitcher Jacie Taber (9-4) pitched the first no-hitter of her career in a low-scoring 1-0 victory over Muskogee (7-15) Friday afternoon in Tahlequah. The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (21-6) traveled to the Northeastern State University high school tournament Friday and edged out the Lady Roughers with five hits and a single run.

SEE RELATED: Elizabeth Luttrell's three-run homer secures 4-0 shutout over Moore

SEE RELATED: Lady Sandite Softball hammers Jay 14-2 in three innings

Taber got off to a great start, striking out the first batter of the game. The Lady Sandites came in to bat and started off with a single from freshman Felicity Horn. Horn was put out on a fielder's choice that allowed Jessica Collins to reach base. Oklahoma State commit Sydney Pennington singled, but was left stranded with Taber, who reached on a fielder's choice that outed Collins, after Madelyn Blair flied out to left field.

Taber gave up a walk in the top of the second but struck out one batter and two others flied out. Muskogee pitcher Elexis Watson walked Sabrina Usher and Rachel Blair in the bottom of the inning, but struck out Cameron Clemons and Kimi Presnell and stranded the two runners as Horn grounded out to first base.

Kayleigh Phillips was hit by pitch in the top of the third and her courtesy runner was put out on a fielder's choice to reach Phynix Coleman who was ultimately left stranded. 

The Sandites finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third as Pennington, Taber, and Madelyn Blair all singled to load the bases. Usher lined out to center field and Pennington scored after tagging up. Blair was left stranded, however, as courtesy runner Makenna Skaggs was put out at third on a fielder's choice to end the inning with a 1-0 lead.

Rachel Blair walked in the bottom of the fourth, but she would be the only runner to get on base for the duration of the game and the Sandites secured the win as the tournament time limit expired in the bottom of the fifth.

Taber struck out four batters and only walked two in the first no-hitter of her career. She holds a 0.77 ERA having given up only nine earned runs this season in 82 innings pitched. Pennington was two-for-two at the plate with two singles and the lone run of the game. She continues to lead the Sandites in batting with a .521 batting average.

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.

Lady Sandite Softball wins 12-straight, takes #1 spot in district with 9-1 defeat of Yukon

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity Softball team (15-3, 6-0) withstood a lot of rain last week, but they didn't get rusty. After having rain-outs against Bixby and Yukon, the girls went eleven days without a game. Some teams might get soggy, but not the Lady Sandites.

This is the second year in a row that Sand Springs and Yukon met while both teams were undefeated in district play. Last year the Millerettes (18-3, 10-1) got the upper hand and spoiled an otherwise spotless season in Sandite district play. This time it was the Sandites who broke Yukon's nine-straight district win-streak. 

Sophomore standout Jacie Taber (7-1) got her sixth-straight win on the mound, giving up only five hits and one run against four strikeouts. Seniors Sydney Pennington and Jessica Collins led the offense. Each scored two runs and two RBI. Collins had three hits on four at-bats and Pennington had two hits on three at-bats, and one home run.

The Sandites took the lead in the top of the first, loading the bases with the first three batters. Freshman Felicity Horn scored on a wild pitch before Yukon pitcher Breley Webb found her groove and struck out Madelyn Blair and Sabrina Usher. Taber grounded out to second and the Millerettes warded off the Sandite tide.

The Sandite defense was quick to put Yukon on notice as Taber struck out Rylee Uhr, Madelyn Blair caught a popup, and Cameron Clemons scooped up a hard grounder at third for the putout at first.

In the second inning there was no stopping the Sandites. Webb struck out Kimi Presnell to start, but then the bats came alive. Clemons doubled, Rachel Blair singled, and Horn hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Clemons. Collins singled to score Blair, and Pennington hit her fourth home run of the season to make it 5-0.

The Millerettes got on the board in the bottom of the second with a home run from Hannah Franklin, but that would be the lone score of the evening for the Yukon team.

In the top of the fourth Clemons reached on an error and scored on a single from Collins, who was in turn brought in on a double from Madelyn Blair. Pennington singled before Blair's at-bat and advanced home on a throw for the 8-1 advantage.

In the top of the seventh Madelyn Blair, Usher, and Taber all singled to load the bases. Presnell hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Blair, but the other runners were left stranded. The home team managed to land a single in the bottom of the inning, but was unable to stage a come-back attempt.

The Lady Sandites still have eight district games left, including a rematch with Yukon, but for now they'll be sailing high on a twelve game winning streak as the only undefeated team remaining in district 6A-3. 

The girls will return to action Thursday afternoon in a home double header against district opponent Ponca City. First game starts at 5:00 p.m.