By CHRIS EDENS
Oologah wants to add another gold ball to the trophy case.
The Lady Mustangs are on a quest to bring home a 4A state softball championship for the second year in a row. This is the fourth year in a row that Oologah has qualified for the state tournament.
“If we win three in a row we repeat as state champs. Over half our starters have been there before and played in the big game so we shouldn’t have any nerves,” Oologah head coach Kerry Hallman said. “It’s going to come down to the team that makes the fewest mistakes and gets the big hits when they need them.”
Oologah will take on Hilldale at 3 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals. The tournament is being played at the Ball Fields at FireLake inShawnee.
Hall of Fame Stadium inOklahoma Cityis the normal site for the state tournament. The stadium is undergoing renovations this year.
Oologah is ranked #16 with a 22-13 record. Hilldale has been ranked #1 all season and the Lady Hornets are 30-5.
The Lady Mustangs played Hilldale twice during the regular season. Oologah lost the first game to Hilldale 1-0 and the second game 5-3.
“This will be our third shot at Hilldale and I feel like the girls are confident,” Hallman said. “They beat us 1-0 at our tourney and if a call would have gone our way in the first inning in the game at their place, we could have won. A couple of the girls were actually happy to get another shot at them.”
If Oologah gets past Hilldale the Lady Mustangs will face the winner of the Tecumseh vs. Blanchard matchup.
Senior Hunter Jeffs has carried the load in the circle for Oologah this season. Jeffs has a 2.24 ERA and a she’s had 181 strikeouts with only 22 walks.
Jeffs has also been the team leader at the plate. She has a .400 batting average with 10 home runs and 28 RBI’s.
Senior Alex Edinger has a .388 batting average and she’s only struck out three times in 110 at bats. Senior Jennifer Hertel has a .365 average with 19 RBI’s, five home runs and five doubles.
Junior Jayci Wang has a .337 average with 18 RBI’s. As a catcher, Wang has only allowed two stolen bases.
Oologah made the state quarterfinals in 2010, the semi-finals in 2011 and last year the Lady Mustangs brought home gold. Oologah hopes this season will be golden again.