Sequoyah High School’s fast pitch softball team, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, will take its 32-6 record and start a journey toward a state championship Thursday evening, when they take on Hugo.
The game starts at 5 p.m. in Shawnee, at the Fire Lake Softball Complex.
“Once you get to the state tournament, every team is good,” said Lady Indians head coach Jeff Turtle.
Sequoyah knows all about the state championship in softball. The Lady Indians made the state tournament last season and reached the state championship game, but dropped the 3A title in the bottom of the seventh inning when a defensive mistake cost Sequoyah the win.
“We found out last year that it is going to come down to pitching well and playing great defense to win it all,” said Turtle.
The Lady Indians will have Katie Phillips in the circle on Thursday evening against Hugo.
Phillips has pitched well all year long, and they hope the state tournament will be no different.
One big change this year: the state’s softball tournament won’t be held at The Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City due to ongoing renovations.
“Every girl growing up wants to play there in the big stadium where they have seen so many big games on television,” said Turtle.
Although the girls won’t be playing in Oklahoma City, Turtle said it “doesn’t matter to our girls where we play at, because when it comes down to it, we are playing for the state championship.”
Sequoyah’s first-round opponent, Hugo, upset the second-ranked team in Class 3A going into regional play, Sulfer, to get into the state tournament.
Joining Hugo in the state tournament is Oktaha, Henreyetta, Washington, Meeker, Davis and Sequoyah.
On Sequoyah’s side of the bracket are Oktaha, Henryetta and Hugo.
Turtle said he tries to get a look at the top teams around Class 3A every chance he gets.
“I go out every Saturday that we don’t play and scout the top teams,” he said.
Turtle has seen every team in the field but Hugo play.
“I had the chance to see them one Saturday, but talked myself into going to watch another game instead,” he said.
Turtle said his team will have to play great in the state tournament to bring the title home.
“We will have our girls ready to play come Thursday night,” said Turtle.