LONE GROVE — It’s no secret that when it comes to success, the Lone Grove Lady Horns softball team has a proud and illustrious history of it.

LONE GROVE — It’s no secret that when it comes to success, the Lone Grove Lady Horns softball team has a proud and illustrious history of it.

Last season, the Lady Horns won their 14th regional championship in program history, and reached the state semifinals for the 10th time overall, finishing at the second stage of the state tournament for only the fifth time in program history. 

As the old saying goes though, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

While Lone Grove graduated a star-studded senior class from a year ago, there are still plenty of highly skilled players coming back this season who are ready to add a 15th regional title to the board outside Glenn Wendt Field. 

“Motivation is always a key thing for these girls and this team,” Lone Grove coach Jimmy Miller said. “Coach (Gary) Guthrie and everyone works so hard in the offseason. We want to make sure these girls stay locked in and focused to winning a state championship. It’s always key to make sure we don’t just settle for where we are at right now, but that we constantly work as hard as we can.” 

Should the Lady Horns claim regional title number 15 this season, it would be the first time since 2003-2005 that Lone Grove has won three straight regional championships. The streak would eventually go on into a fourth year as LGHS earned a state berth in 2006 as well. 

Lone Grove will be bringing three seniors into this season which include Chole Pender, Logan Graves and Paige Anderson.

Unfortunately, Graves will be unable to play this year due to an injury, but it doesn’t mean her presence won’t still be felt around the Lady Horns dugout this season.

“We have our jokes about Logan and her cheerleading abilities,” Miller said. “She’s going to be a huge part of keeping our girls going in that aspect. But the great thing about this team is that we have so many girls who are ready to step up if something like this happens, so it’s a great thing to be apart of and see take place.”

Among the other players coming back this season will include Emmy Guthrie, Malea McMurtrey, Logan Ketchum, Emily Burns, and Noa Dodson. 

McMurtrey and Ketchum will be two of six sophomores on the team, while Guthrie, Burns and Dodson will be three of the seven juniors on the roster this season.

Last year Guthrie was named as the Lake Country Conference Pitcher of the Year, and was the All-Ardmoreite Pitcher of the Year for the second year in a row.

She finished with an 18-4 record on the mound with a solid 1.46 ERA in which she allowed just 30 earned runs all season while striking out 207 batters with just 40 walks issued.

At the plate Guthrie finished with 23 RBI’s for the season with a .427 on base percentage and a .315 batting average. 

As a freshman last season, McMurtrey batted .412 at the plate with a .417 on base percentage with 12 RBI’s and 27 runs scored. 

She was also an LCC All-Conference selection. 

Ketchum will be depended upon to help in the pitching rotation this season much like she did last year.

At the plate the now sophomore batted .379 last season with a .434 on base percentage with 18 RBI’s including nine doubles, three triples and 15 runs scored for the season. 

Last season the Lady Horns finished 26-7 overall, including an 11-1 record in district play, and a district title. 

Lone Grove’s quest for another district title will have some new obstacles to it this season, as the new District 4A-2 will see Bridge Creek, Blanchard and Chickasha join Plainview, Madill, Byng, along with Lone Grove. 

The Lady Horns will be somewhat familiar with Blanchard, as they eliminated the Lady Lions in the regionals finals during the 2017 season at home. 

“We talk all the time about it’s how we play and not who we play during the season,” Miller said. “We always want to play good against good teams no matter if they are in our district or whenever it is. That’s the growth process of this team is always wanting to play better each day.” 

Lone Grove will open its season on Aug. 13 with a district doubleheader at home against Madill.

The Lady Horns will then head to Firelake Casino in Shawnee for the Tuttle Tournament beginning on Aug. 15 and running until Aug. 17.

Lone Grove will also be playing in the Durant tournament this season as well as the Stillwater Festival, the Oklahoma Christian Festival.