In the 2011 fast-pitch softball season, the Poteau Lady Pirates were the host team for a Class 4A Regional Tournament. They ended up losing in the championship round to see their season end. For almost a year, that feeling has not been forgotten by the Lady Pirates.
â€śIt gave us drive and want-to to not have it end like it did last year,â€ť senior right fielder Gabba Wilson said. â€śWe had run ruled them, then they beat us (in the regional title game) and that upset us. We're determined that it's not going to happen this year.â€ť
This current senior class has amassed 107 wins, four LeFlore County Fast-Pitch Tournament titles and four district titles.
â€śI was hoping that we'd have that kind of success in the County Tournament, but I never thought we'd be a part of 107 wins,â€ť senior third baseman/pitcher Brenna Vise said. â€śWe've all be playing together forever. It just feels that (the success over the last four years) was to be that way. I'm proud of everybody.â€ť
The Lady Pirates have been to slow-pitch state in May 2010 and May 2011, but two Lady Pirate seniors â€” Wilson and second baseman Alayna Holdsworth â€” were not a part of that since they were playing soccer for the Lady Pirates. Holdsworth is excited with the chance of a trip to next week's Class 4A State Tournament.
â€śIt would be a one-in-a-million lifetime experience,â€ť Holdsworth said. â€śI'd love it and be excited. It would be amazing. I've been playing like every day is going to be my last. I'm leaving it all on the field, and having a lot more fun.â€ť
â€śI'd be extremely excited,.â€ť Wilson said. â€śI've never been, while some of them have played (at slow-pitch state), and have been under the pressure. It would be a first-time experience for me, and a chance to being able to win it. That's heavy on our shoulders, and we want to do good. We've just got to take it one game at a time. Hopefully, we'll win regionals, and get one step closer to a state championship.â€ť
On the other hand, for the senior Lady Pirates, their fast-pitch careers are winding down.
â€śI'm nervous,â€ť senior center fielder Shelby Standridge said. â€śI don't want it to be over, for one thing.â€ť
The Lady Pirates have a good feeling about this year's Class 4A Regional Tournament, which will begin Thursday at Hilldale High School in Muskogee.
â€śI think we have a great shot,â€ť senior first baseman Kaylee Kingrey said. â€śWe have to play to our potential, but we can definitely get to state.â€ť