For the Ardmore Lady Tigers, last season might as well be a distant memory.

For the Ardmore Lady Tigers, last season might as well be a distant memory.

Following the programs first state tournament appearance in 14 years, Ardmore has been hard at work this summer making sure that the next time they make the big time is this year and not further down the road.

“We’ve mainly been trying to get the girls reps this summer,” Ardmore coach Charli Crawford said. “It’s been about confident reps. These girls have been showing up for summer pride, and I’ve seen their strength and stamina improving constantly over this summer. We’re just trying to shuffle some kids around and find what the best fit is for us.”

Ardmore graduating three seniors from last years team in Lexi Duff, Madisen Moore and Teagan Marris.

Duff and Moore are now on their way to playing college softball at Oklahoma Baptist and Tulsa University respectively, meaning there are some roles which need to be filled in their absence.

Among the returning players coming back for 2018-19 are juniors Lauren Blankenship and Chole Pender, both of whom were named to the 2017-18 All-Ardmoreite softball team last season.

Blankenship is best known for hitting the game-winning walk-off single which propelled the Lady Tigers to the state tournament last season, and she has already shown she will be a strong force playing first base.

As for Pender, she finished last season hitting .417 with 43 hits and 19 RBI.

“We’ve had a lot of different kids step up this summer for us,” Crawford said. “They’ve been working their tails off. Avery (Lowe) is back for us this season, LB (Lauren Blankenship), Chole (Pender) and Makila Case, and Kalie Douglas are also coming back.”

Lowe finished last season hitting .271 while registering a fielding percentage of .849.

Also returning for the Lady Tigers will be Shakira Smith, who was the District 5A-2 Newcomer of the Year last season.

Smith hit .407 with 35 hits while earning an on base percentage of .452.

“Savannah Marris is the younger sister of Taegan, and she’s been stepping up for us so far,” Crawford added. “Another player who has really been adapting is Brooklyn Coronado. She just got cleared from a knee injury recently, and she’e been playing anywhere we’ve put her. I’m really looking forward to see what she can do for the Lady Tigers softball program.” 

Ardmore will be finishing up its summer schedule this week as the Lady Tigers will take part in the FCA Festival.