Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

November 1, 2012

3 local players get All-State softball nods

Jeff Turtle had a surprise for both Kara Linch and Jessica Bluebird. There was a problem, though.

The pair of Sequoyah softball players already knew what Turtle was about to tell them.

Blame it on social media.

Before Turtle could break the news to them that they were All-State softball selections, Linch and Bluebird found out on Twitter.

“It was really cool,” Bluebird said of when she found out. “I’m happy and I’m glad I made it. Our hard work paid off.”

Bluebird and Linch, key cogs on Sequoyah’s state runner-up club this season, were named to the Middle East team, which consists of players from Class 2A through 4A.

Also picking up an All-State selection was Tahlequah’s Britney Johnson, a senior pitcher for Tahlequah. Johnson, though, made the Large East team as an outfielder, with Owasso’s Whitney Whitehorn, Broken Arrow’s Elena Gambill and Grove’s Jessica Walker snagging the pitching honors.

“In fastpitch, I didn’t play outfield that much,” said Johnson, who tends to play more outfield during the slowpitch season in the spring. “But I’m excited about it.”

Johnson, who hit .492 with 55 runs scored, was also recently named to the All-District 5A-3 team as Pitcher of the Year.

When Johnson found out she had been named to the All-State team, she was “excited because it took a lot of work for it to work out the way it did,” said Johnson, who finished the year with a 17-7 record with a 1.65 earned run average in the pitching circle.

Other notable names joining Johnson on the Large East squad are shortstop Madison Vaughan (Coweta), catcher Ashleigh Tramel (Grove), third baseman Taylor Dodson (Grove) and first baseman Paige Gann (Muskogee).

A date for the All-State games has not released, but in recent years the games have been in mid-June at the University of Oklahoma’s softball complex.

For Sequoyah this season, Bluebird — while splitting time with Kati Phillips in the pitching circle — posted a 29-7 record with a 1.14 earned run average. She also had 180 strikeouts.

“I’m not really a strikeout pitcher,” said Bluebird, who finished with 365 punch-outs in her career. “I just hit my spots and rely on my defense to do the job.”

Linch’s path to making the All-State team was a bit out of the ordinary. The senior infielder shifted from second base to shortstop after Sequoyah found out that Kelsey Leach would be unavailable all season.

“It started out kind of tough with Kelsey not being here, especially with me going from second and moving to short,” Linch said when asked to describe this season. “We didn’t know what was going to happen, so we just stuck together and played well.”

With Linch — who hit .416 with 22 runs batted in this season — and Bluebird leading the charge, Sequoyah nearly won the Class 3A title game. Little Axe, though, ended up with the crown, beating Sequoyah 1-0 in the championship game.

“Jessica and Kara, along with Susie Davis, kept us together this season,” Sequoyah coach Jeff Turtle said. “A lot of things went on and late, but they kept us going because we had to move people around all year.

“Then, we got on a roll in the end and got to where we wanted to be.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • shock pic.jpg Time to rest

    Shock beats San Antonio before entering All-Star break

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods in contention after 1st day at British Open

    July 18, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks