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Lady Horns to host regional; Ardmore, Plainview and Sulphur hit the road for postseason

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

It’s no secret that the Lone Grove High School softball team has dominated this year, highlighted by 27-2 overall mark and a Durant Tournament title. However, as in all sports, a successful regular season doesn’t guarantee a championship.

The Lady Horns know that, but the cards will be stacked in their favor when they open regionals at home against Anadarko at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8.

“Every day we go out and we’re playing one game at a time — we have to beat the team in front of us,” said Lone Grove head coach Jimmy Miller. “We have to go out and play well. It’s how we play and how we go about our business in doing things right, and the score will take care of itself. … We have a lot to care of each game. You can go out and take anything for granted and you can be done.”

The Lady Horns will be playing with house money though. Lone Grove gets to play the early game Thursday and a victory would allow a break until a 5 p.m. matchup with the winner of Purcell vs. Newcastle.

But the most important task at hand is the opening game.

“Anadarko is a good club,” Miller said. “When you get to regionals in 4A, everybody can play. It’s going to be a tough regional. We’re going to have to play well.”

That’s exactly what the Lady Horns have done all season, led by senior pitcher Emmy Guthrie and a balanced attack at the plate. Chloe Yeatts sits at 10 home runs on the year, but the junior has at least two games to set a new school record.

Lone Grove also has the advantage of playing in a familiar ballpark and that should pay dividends.

“We’ve been fortunate to host quite a few regionals,” Miller said. “It’s always great to play at home. We have a great atmosphere here and it’s fun to play here. We’ve had other teams from regionals come here and they love playing here."

And the fans in attendance are in for a jam-packed two days of softball, with the regional champion being named at either 2 or 4 p.m. Friday.

Only time will tell how the Lady Horns fares, but Miller knows they'll be ready for whatever is thrown their way.

“(The girls) have to stay sharp and go make adjustments,” Miller said. “(The other teams) are going to make adjustments and that’s part of a regional — just being tough, staying through it and fighting to the end.”

Class 5A, Regional 1

The Ardmore High School softball team kicks off postseason play at Wednesday, Oct. 7 against Noble.  The Lady Tigers battle at noon and the winner advances to face regional host Carl Albert at 4 p.m. The loser, meanwhile, faces Carl Albert at 2 p.m.

If one team has one loss and another has no losses, the two meet at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. However, if all teams have one loss, Ardmore battles Noble at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Class 4A, Regional 4

The time is now for the Plainview High School softball team as it looks to advance to the 4A State Tournament by taking home a regional crown in Tecumseh.

The Lady Indians kick off action at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 against Weatherford. The winner advances to a 5 p.m. matchup with Tecumseh or Bridge Creek, while the loser will face the other team at 3 p.m. in an elimination game.

Class 3A State Tournament

It’s state championship or bust for the Sulphur High School softball team as it opens play at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 against Henryetta at FireLake Fields in Shawnee.

Last season, the Lady Bulldogs battled Prague in the first round of the 3A State Tournament, but fell short in a 3-1 loss.