LONE GROVE — One is a freshman who enters this season off the heels of an outstanding eighth grade season.

LONE GROVE — One is a freshman who enters this season off the heels of an outstanding eighth grade season. 

The other is a senior who is verbally committed to play for the reigning and defending NCAA national champions at the University of Oklahoma.

Together, they make up part of a rock solid core for the Lone Grove Lady Horns this season.

While Sami Skelly might be new to the team of LGHS this season, she said she already feels like family.

“These girls have just welcomed me from day one with open arms here,” Skelly said. “This is a great program here at Lone Grove and I’m excited about the expectations they have here. I might be new, but I have the same dream as these girls and that’s to make it to the state tournament. That would be amazing for me.”

“Our personality and the way we work really sets us apart from everyone else,” Skelly added.

Head coach Jimmy Miller said Skelly doesn’t just bring another powerful bat to the Lady Horns, but adds leadership on and off the field.

“Sami moving over here was pretty exciting for everyone this summer,” he said. “She’s not only a great player, but a fantastic young lady. She’s really been able to fit into this group and become an important part of this team.”

Skelly was named as the All-Ardmoreite Utility Player of the Year last season, having finished with a batting average of .551 to go with nine home runs. In addition she registered an on-base percentage of .843 with an .844 fielding percentage as a member of the Plainview Lady Indians. 

Lone Grove will also be returning the All-Ardmoreite Defensive Player of the Year from last season in Brooklyn Mason. 

Mason finished with a .952 fielding percentage last season, managing just three errors the entire year. 

But the Lady Horns are much more than just about offense this season, Emily Guthrie will help anchor a solid pitching staff which will also include Taylor McIntyre, Jordan Johnson, and Cassidy Baughman. 

Last season as an eighth grader, Guthrie totaled 17 victories in the circle, finishing with 139 strikeouts. Baughman earned 11 wins while McIntyre recovered from wrist surgery, in which she was able to register seven W’s. Johnson was also able to earn some wins on the mound last season.

“Anyone who knows softball, knows its all about what you have in the circle,” Miller said. “We’ve got some quality pitchers, and that’s a huge advantage. It’s nice being able to call upon those girls when we need them to step up.”

For Guthrie, her expectations are at an all-time high as she enters her first season on the varsity squad.

“We expect to make the state tournament every season,” Guthrie said. “This year is no different for us, we believe we have what it takes to accomplish our goal. There’s a lot of excitement around this team coming into this season. 

“Our fans have packed this stadium for summer league games, so that just tells us we’ve got more than enough support.”