Ardmore softball focused on improvement as regular season comes to a close

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
A group of Lady Tigers huddle in the circle Monday against Lawton MacArthur. Ardmore has dealt with its fair share of ups and downs during 2021, but the squad is focused on ending the season on a good note.

It’s no secret that the Ardmore High School softball team has dealt with a fair share of ups and downs during the 2021 campaign. The Lady Tigers have struggled against District 5A-1 opponents, but they’re not waving the white flag yet.

“Everybody makes the playoffs, so we need to have a mindset to get 1% better every day,” said Ardmore head coach Lee Mays. “Don’t worry about distractions. We have to worry about getting better and sustaining that energy and being able to finish and fight through adversity.”

The Lady Tigers showed that grit Monday against Lawton MacArthur, as they rallied from a four-run deficit to tie the game. Ardmore did lose 7-6, but defensive miscues played a role in the setback.

“We just have to focus on the little things like communicating on popups,” Mays said. “And finding a way to get better on the shallow popups that give you trouble where you have to communicate. The outfield has to communicate with the infielders. We had some trouble with that communication tonight and that hurt us. We need to have more of an aggressive mindset.”

Bree Coronado showed that mindset at the plate as her three-run triple cut the deficit to one and sparked a four-run sixth inning.

Honey Jefferson started the rally with a single before Savannah Marris earned a one-out walk. The Lady Tigers turned to Amerie Kinney as pinch-hitter, and she stepped up with a single to load the bases. That’s when Coronado came through with the clutch bases-clearing triple.

She later scored on an error, but the late-game heroics might not have been needed if the Lady Tigers found success in earlier innings.

“We need to have more energy to start the game,” Mays said. “That way we don’t have to manufacture runs and find that energy. We have to start with some intensity and find a way to get runners on base and find a little more energy when we start the game on defense.”

Only time will tell if Ardmore can do that, but five seniors should play an important role as they're nearing the end of their high school careers.

“I know we’re going to regroup and finish this season off on a good note,” Mays said. “Hopefully we improve and look at the playoffs as an opportunity to grow and get better and compete with the higher-lever Carl Alberts and those teams like that.”