TURNER — Hosting a regional tournament is nothing new to the Turner Lady Falcons.
Turner has served as the host school on several occasions and the Lady Falcons finally got over the hump a year ago and was a participant in the fastpitch state tournament for the first time in program history.
The defending Class B state runner-up Lady Falcons hope by the time that Friday afternoon concludes they will hoist the plaque as a regional tournament champion for the second time in as many years.
“It was a great feeling,” Turner coach Shane Hill said. “Being really close the two years before that, and to finally get over the hump and have so much success in the state tournament, was great.
“It wasn’t much of a culture shock when we got there (state tournament). We still played well. Even in the final, it was a good ball game through five innings. They (Red Oak) had a couple of timely hits. It got away from us. For as experienced as we are, we hope that it will pay off for us.”
Turner (25-2) opens play in the regional tournament today at noon in Burneyville against Roff (8-22). Geronimo (21-9) and Grandfield (17-6) comprise the bottom half of the bracket. The final is set for 4 p.m. Friday.
“I expect all of the games to be competitive,” Hill said. “We’re going to have to go out there and score runs and do our part.”
Turner’s experience is beneficial. Jacey Henry, Shyanne Parker, Tracy McGill and Brianna Paul comprise the senior leadership.
Turner has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the state; its two losses came courtesy of an extra-inning setback to Class 4A’s Plainview and a walk-off home run against Class A’s No. 7 Ringling.
“It kind of feels like you have a target on your back,” Hill said. “The three teams coming in don’t have anything to lose. We kind of feel like we have everything to lose.
“We’re going to see if it will work to our advantage, hopefully. We have to show up. They’re not going to come in and give it to us. With the senior leadership we’ve got and our experience, the girls understand that.”