Before the meat of conference play kicks up, six area teams will play at the site of the OSSAA state tournament in the Hall of Fame Shootout this weekend.
Plainview, Lone Grove, Dickson, Healdton, Ringling and Sulphur will all get their chances in the legendary stadium. Each team will get two games in the festival format tournament.
“There’s teams from all over Oklahoma in it, mostly pretty good teams,” Sulphur coach Heath Gilbert said. “I think it’s more of a showcase festival, for teams to get their matchup with good teams from all over Oklahoma.”
Sulphur, ranked ninth in Class 3A, won’t start the tournament until Saturday, when the Bulldogs will face No. 3 Sequoyah Tahlequah.
“We’ll know right off the bat how we stand against a top three team in 3A,” Gilbert said. “We’re very excited for the opportunity.”
Plainview coach Alicia Foster took her team to the fastpitch state tournament last fall, and also played at Hall of Fame Stadium as a junior at Plainview.
The Indians missed out on playing on the main field in 2011, but will start the tournament there front and center against Purcell.
“The first game that we play this weekend is on the big field, which is what you always look forward to,” Foster said. “Last year when we went to the festival and then went to state, were on the back fields. It’s great for the girls and the parents.”
Plainview (6-5), a newcomer to Class 4A, will get to face some more competition from its classification in Oklahoma City. The Indians will play Purcell and Newcastle on Friday.
“Newcastle and Purcell always have good athletes, so those should be good ball games,” Foster said. “It’s good to see some of the teams in our class since we’re not used to playing in 4A.”
The biggest benefit of playing at Hall of Fame Stadium, however, is the experience, and the thought of making the return trip later in the season.
Both Plainview and Davis qualified for the fastpitch state tournament last year in Class 3A.
“You get that feel for what it’s gonna be like in October,” Gilbert said.
Erik K. Horne
Hall of Fame Shootout
Friday and Saturday
At ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Purcell vs. Plainview; Lone Grove vs. Perkins
Lone Grove vs. Little Axe, Dickson vs. Piedmont
Blanchard vs. Dickson
Plainview vs. Newcastle
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Healdton vs. Chattanooga
Drumright vs. Dickson
Ringling vs. Welch
Sequoyah Tahlequah vs. Sulphur
McLoud vs. Plainview
Welch vs. Healdton
Ringling vs. Lexington
Anadarko vs. Healdton; Waurika vs. Sulphur