Softball powers Carl Albert and Tuttle rolling toward postseason
By Zach West
In a clash of softball titans, Class 5A No. 1 Carl Albert dominated Class 4A No. 1 Tuttle Tuesday night in a 7-0 rout at Tuttle. While the result obviously bodes well for the defending state champion Titans, don’t get any mistaken impressions about Tuttle - the loss was only their second of the year, and the Tigers are still the team to beat in 4A. I spoke with both coaches in the aftermath Wednesday, and they gave me interesting updates on their powerhouse teams as the postseason nears.
Titans: State hurdles champion leading the way
Even before they won the state title last year, Carl Albert was looking ahead to this season. Who can blame them? After all, the Titans ended up returning eight of nine offensive players who started in the state title game.
Still, head coach Colin White had to replace the Titans’ MVP and lead-off hitter Kimberly Eubank - no easy task.
Of course, it helps if the replacement is already in school … even if she didn’t play softball last year. It also helps if the replacement happens to be a three-time state champion in track. Some schools just have all the luck.
After a year of not playing softball, junior Jourdan Clark has filled the lead-off spot in the Carl Albert lineup quite nicely by batting .328. She has also used her speed to garner three doubles, three triples and one inside the park home run for the 20-2 top-ranked Titans.
“I just plugged her in and she’s done extremely well,” White said. ”She can fly.”
While it has been an easy transition on the field, it wasn’t quite so easy getting Clark to come out for softball in the first place. Last year, Clark had just transferred from Ada and solely concentrated on basketball and track – where she won the 5A state title in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles and was named The Oklahoman’s Big All-City Girls Athlete of the Year.
“I couldn’t get her out to play last year,” White said. “She was just kind of shy and didn’t want to do everything at once.”
And while Clark’s efforts are a luxury for Carl Albert this year, next year she will be counted on to make up for eight seniors who are graduating.
Who to watch: Carl Albert seniors Karolyne Long (.415 batting average), Samantha Bachman (.364), and Autumn Brown (.485) are leading the way for the Titans at the plate. Bachman also excels for the Titans on the mound, and was the winning pitcher in the state semi-final and final games last year.
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