May 3—The Lady Hornets are ready to make a statement.
Stuart will be one of the first games at the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Class 2A Slow-pitch Softball State Tournaments on Tuesday, as the Lady Hornets begin quarterfinal play.
Coach Chance Chapman said it was an exciting moment for his team to advance, and he hopes that his players will continue to respond like they have in big games all season.
"Just sheer emotion," Chapman said. "I hope that the moment's big enough that they are ready to roll from the first pitch."
Chapman said making the state tournament is a payoff for all the hard work that a team puts into a season, but there's still one more goal to achieve. Stuart however has the tools to make their way toward that goal with their power at the plate combined with an iron defense.
No. 7 Stuart (28-10) will play No. 1 Binger-Oney at 11:30 a.m. The Bobcats return as the 2019 Class 2A champions, when they also ousted the Lady Hornets 15-12 in the semifinals.
In the days leading up to the state tournament, Stuart has been hard at work honing its defense, while also remaining committed to hitting to all parts of the field. Chapman said it's already been highly beneficial for his team's success.
"It helped us a ton (at regionals). We were able to spray the ball all over and kind of beat the charts that we needed to beat," he said.
In any case, the Lady Hornets are excited to be playing in the state's top tournament.
Chapman said while they're enjoying the accomplishment, they're still hungry for more.
"It's a huge accomplishment anytime you go," Chapman said. "And when you get up there, anything can happen...it's all about attitude and mindset."
The quarterfinal and semifinal round will be held on Tuesday at The Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee, while the championship game will be held OG&E Field at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Here is the complete OSSAA Class 2A State Slow-pitch Softball bracket:
G1: Canute vs. Bennington, 10 a.m.
G2: Stuart vs. Binger-Oney, 11:30 a.m.
G3: Sterling vs. Kiowa, 1 p.m.
G4: Shattuck vs. Rattan, 2:30 p.m.
G5: Winner G2 vs. Winner G1, 4 p.m.
G6: Winner G4 vs. Winner G3, 5:30 p.m.
AT OKLAHOMA CITY
G7: Winner G6 vs. Winner G5, 1:30 p.m. (Winner named State Champion)
Contact Derek Hatridge at email@example.com.