By Robert Przybylo
Eerie feeling all day Saturday at the All-State fastpitch softball games at the University of Oklahoma Softball Complex.
The ridiculously humid atmosphere had me fearing for the worst. Fortunately, none of the girls succumbed to the heat. However, a couple of umpires did. Both had to leave the field because of heat-related struggles.
I was told both recovered after a lot of ice and fluids, so that was good news.
As for the games, I dare you to find a better pitching quartet than the Large West squad. Their scheduled pitchers were Kaci Quintero of Westmoore (my Big All-City Player of the Year, going to Seminole State), Katie Lynn of Moore (Southern Nazarene) and Choctaw’s Kalynn Schrock (Tulsa). Then just for fun, coach Steve Schwarz of Westmoore threw in Alex Jones of Enid (Kansas) into the mix.
Yeah, talk about domination. They showed what they were all about in shutting out the East squad.
Most interesting thing to note was East star Ashley Brokeshoulder of Shawnee still has not signed. She missed the game because of injury, but the injury has no impact on her recruiting.
Had a chance to speak with her father, Eddie Brokeshoulder, about everything. He said they are still weighing their options, and it’s definitely not because of a lack of offers. Enjoyed watching Brokeshoulder when I worked in Shawnee and was happy she was able to put it all together and help Shawnee reach the 5A championship last year.
In the middle school’s game, it was a Harrah thing. Ali Manship has long been one of the Boneman’s favorites, and she did it just about every way possible.
She had an RBI single, scored a run on a great slide at the plate and of course, on the mound.
Manship pitched the first three innings and was lights out. Then, former Washington coach Mike Lawless put Manship in to finish the job.
The West entered with an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the ninth. At 8-6 and two runners on, Manship was called to get the final out and did so.
Her teammate, Aaron Adams (headed to Oklahoma State), had a two-run single as well.
The small east was dominant in shutting out the west.
Coaches of the Year: Large Schools: Randall King, Broken Arrow. No shock as led Tigers to yet another state championship.
Middle Schools: Jerry Bates, Tuttle. This was supposed to be the down year for the Tuttle program. Tigers will be loaded next season in quest for three-peat.
Small Schools: Steve Pybas, Ringling. This is cheating, all he did was give the ball to Hope McLemore and let her do the rest (I kid, but Hope is special). Ringling also won a state championship.
I focused on Schrock for my story as I felt she kinda got left in the cold every now and then because of how good some of the other teams were. For my money, Schrock and Quintero’s battle in the state semifinals is still the best high school softball game I’ve seen.
This Saturday is the slowpitch version of everything. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and everything will run smooth.