Obstacles and adversity are typical on the road to being a champion, or building a successful program.

Obstacles and adversity are typical on the road to being a champion, or building a successful program.

Both of these are things Sulphur softball coach Heath Gilbert has experienced plenty of during his run at the helm of the Lady Bulldogs.

Today will be no different as his squad enters the Class 4A regional tournament.

Unlike last year when the Lady Bulldogs got to host, they will be hitting the road this time around, as they travel to Tuttle.

SHS will be joining Harrah and Weatherford as the other teams in the regional field, as the Lady Bulldogs look to return to the state tournament.

In the second game of the day, Sulphur will be taking on Weatherford beginning at 2 p.m.

The opening game in the tournament will put the host Lady Tigers against Harrah with first pitch set for noon.

While a matchup against the defending state champions could be looming at 6 p.m. this evening, Gilbert was quick to point out that a game against Tuttle won’t happen if his team doesn’t make it past Weatherford to begin with.

“This is a very tough regional for us,” he said. “Tuttle is the defending state champions, they enter with an overall record of 32-3, and have a pitcher who is committed to the University of Oklahoma. We just have to make sure and focus on our first game and not look ahead to Tuttle.”

“We won’t get a chance at Tuttle if we don’t win our first game,” Gilbert added. “Road regionals haven’t been great to us, but things have to change eventually.”

Sulphur was the second placed team out of district 3-4A at 9-3, with a 20-10 overall record. Weatherford finished second in district 2-4A also at 9-3, and owns an overall record of 18-10.

Tuttle was the district champion out of 1-4A with a perfect 12-0 record, while Harrah was the fourth placed team out of 4-4A at 4-6 with a 21-9 overall record.

Earlier this calendar year, the Lady Bulldogs managed to go on the road in slow pitch and claim the regional runner-up spot, which sent them to the state tournament in Oklahoma City, completing a season double.

The Lady Bulldogs have only three seniors this season in Rilee Duck, Bekka Turner and Ashley Bivens.

Sulphur will be looking to their upperclassmen trio along with some of the younger players on the squad including Harley Bessley, Abby Beck, Kinlee Duck, Shallen Mershon, Macenzie Ruth, Maeklla Mobly and Paisley Runyan.

“We’ve had a strange season with this squad,” Gilbert said. “There’s been injuries to three different catchers and we’ve had to move so many girls around. But so many of these girls have stepped up and gotten the job done for us.”

“We’re a young team, but we are very resilient as a group overall,” Gilbert added.

The losers from each game will meet at 4 p.m. in an elimination contest.

Friday will bring one more elimination game to start the day with the regional finals taking place later in the afternoon.