RINGLING — For the last few seasons, the Ringling Lady Blue Devils have been subject to early playoff exits in the regional tournament.

RINGLING — For the last few seasons, the Ringling Lady Blue Devils have been subject to early playoff exits in the regional tournament.

This year however, veteran head coach Steve Pybas is confident that his squad can get over the hump and get back to the state tournament for the first time since 2016. With a little bit of luck of course.

“We’ve got to have some luck and some breaks go our way, especially playing in Class A,” Pybas said. “But I really like this group of girls, they work hard and we’ve got a great group of seniors behind us. We’ll have a total of seven returning starters coming back this season and each of them can play multiple positions.”

“We played a total of 30 games this summer give or take,” Pybas added. “These girls are all super competitive and super athletic as well. They don’t just settle for being mediocre, they want to be the best.”

Ringling will be looking to not only break their state tournament drought this season, but continue another streak at the same time.

The Lady Blue Devils softball program will be looking to add another name to its Fast-Pitch All-State board, which has seen Ringling register at least one All-State player the every year since 2014, a streak which began after the program had three players named to the honor in 2011.

There will also be the matter in which the Lady Blue Devils will want to increase their win total as last season Ringling won 15 games, marking the first time since 2013 the program failed to win at least 20 games during a campaign. 

Leading the charge this season will be a talented group of seniors in Kelsea Thompson, Rayme Tolliver, Steelie Price and Karagan Cox. 

Last season Thompson finished with a .359 batting average to go with 11 RBI’s and a .438 slugging percentage.

Price was close behind hitting .352 with a .465 slugging percentage while totaling 18 RBI’s for the season, while Tolliver finished with a .323 batting average with 15 RBI’s for the season.

Cox finished with a .293 batting average with 17 hits and 11 RBI’s.

Rayme Tolliver also made an impact on the mound as she went 13-7 on the year with a 2.63 ERA with 87 strikeouts for the season in 103 innings pitched.

But Ringling will also be bringing another weapon on the mound this season in sophomore Meghan Roberts, who went 3-1 on the mound last season with a 1.50 ERA with 31 strikeouts for the season in 32 innings pitched.

Also coming back this year will be juniors Sydney Southward and Kelsi Lester, who each hit over .200 last season for the Lady Blue Devils.

“Rayme and Meghan both compliment each other really well on the mound,” Pybas said. “It’s a luxury to have two very talented players who can pitch for us especially in Class A. I can’t say enough good things about these two as players and as people.”

Ringling will open the season Aug. 12 in a triangular at Dickson against the Lady Comets and Plainview, before heading to the Rock Creek Tournament on Aug. 15-17.

Aug. 19, the Lady Blue Devils will travel to Waurika to take on the Lady Eagles, before playing their first home game of the season on Aug. 20 against Dickson.

Ringling will also have games this season against Comanche, Silo, Marlow, and Kingston. 

The Lady Blue Devils will also be competing in the Southwest Shootout tournament in Sterling, as well as the Comanche Festival, and the Oklahoma Shootout which will take place in Shawnee.

The district tournament is scheduled to take place during the month of September on the 26th and 27th with regionals to follow the next week on Oct. 3rd and 4th with state the following week at Firelake Casino in Shawnee.