Following a highly successful 2017-18 season, the Lone Grove Lady Horns softball team isn’t planning on doing any type of rebuilding this year.

Following a highly successful 2017-18 season, the Lone Grove Lady Horns softball team isn’t planning on doing any type of rebuilding this year.

Instead, they plan on simply reloading and making another run to the state tournament.

With multiple starters returning, plus a highly talented crop of underclassmen, it’s no wonder head coach Jimmy Miller is already excited about the 2018-19 season, even from what he has seen during the summer thus far. 

“We just want to get better overall during the summer,” Miller said. “All of us have things that we aren’t able to do well. The summer is about messing up and learning how to do stuff right. I enjoy getting to coach these girls right now and seeing them grow and improve.”

To understand what the Lady Horns have coming back as far as talent this season, one needs to first know what they graduated from last years squad which went 30-6 and finished as the class 4A state runner-up.

Lone Grove graduated Sami Skelly, Brooklyn Mason, Taleigh Nail and Jordan Johnson, who will all be going to play college softball beginning this fall.

Skelly finished last season with a .512 batting average to go with a .602 on base percentage. She also hit 10 home runs with 58 RBI and 38 runs scored. She was also named as the 2017-18 All-Ardmoreite Softball Most Valuable Player, and will be a member of the University of Oklahoma softball team in Norman.

Mason finished with a .521 batting average in her senior season to go with a .544 on base percentage. She hit two home runs to go with 21 RBI and 57 runs scored. She was named the 2017-18 All-Ardmoreite Offensive Player of the Year for softball and will be playing at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.

Nail will suit up for Murray State College in Tishomingo this fall. She registered a .471 batting average with a .521 on base percentage while scoring 36 runs with 39 RBI. She was named as a member of the All-Ardmoreite softball team.

Johnson finished with a .422 average to go with a .475 on base percentage with 29 runs scored. She will be joining the Northern Oklahoma College softball team this fall. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Lady Horns as they are bringing back plenty of power and experience.

Shelby Stevenson will be back this year as she will look to improve on a stellar junior season in which she hit nine home runs while finishing with a .350 average at the plate with 40 RBI.

Maci McMurtrey will also return as she hit .415 last season with 29 RBI and 47 runs scored.

On the mound, sophomore standout Emmy Guthrie, who was named as the 2017-18 All-Ardmoreite Newcomer of the Year for softball, will bring a one-two punch at the plate and on the mound.

Last year she hit .337 at the plate with 19 RBI and seven doubles, while finishing with a 1.11 ERA allowing just 26 earned runs all season while totaling 266 strikeouts. Guthrie had a 25-4 record on the mound.

“There are so many talented girls on this squad, I don’t know where to begin or end on talking about them,” Miller said. “This is a neat environment we’ve created here. Girls like Shelby (Stevenson) are going to be looked to during this season to spark the fire for us when we need it.” 

Lone Grove is at Pauls Valley next week.