With the sun beating down and temperatures rising, the setting was perfect for the start of summer softball on Thursday.

With the sun beating down and temperatures rising, the setting was perfect for the start of summer softball on Thursday.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes festival kicked off its opening day at Ardmore and Lone Grove, with five area teams getting in early reps for the upcoming fast pitch season.

At Ardmore, the Lady Tigers applied their talents against the Lady Comets from Velma-Alma.

“We had a great effort and attitude out there today,” Dickson coach Lee Mays said. “I believe we are at a tipping point right now. If we focus on the process then the outcome will take care of itself. Defensively our short game needs to improve. We’re literally one step away from being able to have clean innings. If we can stay positive and elevate our game when it matters, we’ll have a chance to be successful.”

For Ardmore head coach Charli Crawford, she couldn’t stop smiling at the show her offense put on display. 

“Our offense was so explosive and it was fun to watch us hit four home runs in three games,” she said. “That’s something you get really excited about as a coach. Our pitching was also really strong as well because we only allowed four hits in three games.” 

“We were able to adjust to three different pitchers and have strong contact against them,” Crawford added. “Some of our newcomers are still finding their groove, and we could potentially start three freshman this season. This is a fun group of girls to coach, and I’m very excited to see where things take us this season.”

Meanwhile at Lone Grove, there was more of a local flavor amongst the competition.

Joining the Lady Horns were the Madill Lady Wildcats and the Ringling Lady Blue Devils, along with the Marlow Lady Outlaws and Duncan Lady Demons.

“One of the main things we look at starting out is attitude and effort,” Lone Grove coach Jimmy Miller said. “There were some early summer jitters and that’s to be expected. These things allow us to have a look at where we need to go from here and what we can improve on once we start practicing.”

Games will continue today at Ardmore and Lone Grove with Ardmore hosting Ringling at 9 a.m. followed by a 3 p.m. matchup against Dickson and a 4:30 p.m. contest against Duncan.

Ringling will meet Duncan at 10:30 a.m. this morning, while Madill will take on Duncan at Noon and Dickson at 1:30 p.m. from Ardmore High School.

At Lone Grove today, the Lady Horns will be starting at 9 a.m. against Velma-Alma, before taking on Marlow at 10:30 a.m. and Ada at 4:30 p.m.

Fast Pitch softball officially opens the 2017 season with practice beginning on July 15.