PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kye Stone, Kiowa

·2 min read

May 22—Softball has been a big part of Kye Stone's life.

The Kiowa Cowgirl has been playing the sport for a very long time, ever since she was a little girl and all the way through high school.

"Growing up around it has been fun," Stone said. "A lot of memories."

Stone finished her senior season with a .722 batting average, knocking 39 home runs and driving in 107 RBIs to help lead the Cowgirls to the state tournament semifinals and be named the 2021 McAlester News-Capital All-Area Slow-Pitch Player of the Year.

Although her time at Kiowa is over, Stone will get to continue to play softball in the fall at her new home of Grayson County College in Denison, Texas. It's going to be a new experience for Stone, but as she's mentioned before, she'll be carrying everything she learned in Kiowa with her, from her coaches and family.

"Shoutout to my coaches Keith Quaid and Britton Hackler. And (uncle) Carl Edward," Stone said.

Stone leaves Kiowa after four years of state tournament visits and bringing the school its first three state championships in any sport — with two fast-pitch titles and one for slow-pitch.

"It's been really cool to be the ones to make that history," she said. "We've had a lot of success, more than most people."

But the hardest thing about the transition for Stone will be the family she's leaving behind, from her parents — whom she said have always been supportive and by her side, to her aunts and uncles, to her cousin and best friend Brasen Hackler.

The two have been on the same softball journey since the beginning, but will now be playing for separate college teams in two different states.

Stone said it wasn't going to be easy, but she's grateful to have created a bond and memories that will last a lifetime.

"It's going to be different. We've been playing together since we were four years old," Stone said. "We've made history. I'm just glad to have played with (the same girls) since I was little."

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.

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