LONE GROVE — Proudly displayed just steps away from Glenn Wendt Field in Lone Grove is the accomplishments of the Lone Grove Lady Horns softball team.

LONE GROVE — Proudly displayed just steps away from Glenn Wendt Field in Lone Grove is the accomplishments of the Lone Grove Lady Horns softball team.

From a state championship in 2004, to the numerous district and regional titles, the Lady Horns have established a proud tradition of excellence on the softball field.

However, the one thing which sticks out the most is the year 2014 on the board under the regional champions section.

This was the last time the Lady Horns made their way to the state tournament. It’s a statistic LGHS head coach Jimmy Miller is well aware of, but says it’s something his squad intends to change this season.

“Our goal every year is to go to the state tournament,” Miller said. “It’s one of those things where if we don’t make it then we’re disappointed. I’m pretty excited about this squad and the opportunities which could be ahead of us. If we continue to improve then this could be a very fun year for us.”

Coach Miller has plenty of reasons to not just feel optimistic, but confident in his squad.

First off there’s the fact Lone Grove graduated just three players from a team which won 22 games in 2016-17.

To counter that statistic, Miller will be welcoming back a total of seven seniors for this season, along with a total of eight starters.

There’s also the small matter of welcoming the newest Lady Horns member this season in OU commit Sami Skelly.

“These girls play well together, and we’ve got a family atmosphere right now,” Miller said. “I’ve had girls that had all the tools and weapons to win, but they just couldn’t get along. These girls have just come together and really gelled for us.”

Helping lead the offensive charge this season will be designated hitter junior Shelby Stevenson, who has been hitting multiple home runs in the preseason.

She’ll look to improve on a solid sophomore campaign which brought 41 hits to go with 34 RBI’s, and a .353 average for the season.

Another junior who will look to improve for the third straight season is second baseman Maci McMurtrey, who has increased her batting average in both years as a member of the LGHS varsity squad.

As a freshman, McMurtrey registered a .358 average, before skyrocketing to a .421 average at the plate last season.

Perhaps though one of the most recognizable faces returning for Lone Grove is senior standout Brooklyn Mason, who will be patrolling the field in center.

Mason is no stranger to stepping up during her time as a Lady Horns player, as she made an impact her freshman year finishing with a .527 average with 59 hits. The average at the plate was the third best in a season by a LGHS softball player (Carrie DeLano- .556 (1989), Abby Barton- 2009 (.541)).

Last year, Mason nearly topped her rare achievement as she totaled a .526 average for the season.

Other returning starters this season will include Taleigh Nail, Katelyn Cobb, Jordan Johnson, Taylor Mcintyre, Maegan Cathey, Nova Dodson, Elizabeth Lette, and Cassidy Baughman. 

When asked about any potential weaknesses for his squad this season, Miller simply played it cool.

“I have to think about that question to be honest,” he said. “Even if I could answer it right now I probably wouldn’t share what it is.”