Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

August 7, 2012

Sequoyah looks to continue recent success

The task for Sequoyah’s softball team is the same every year: make it to the final weekend of the season.

“Getting to the state tournament is always the goal,” Sequoyah coach Jeff Turtle said.

However, within the walls of the Sequoyah locker room — and perhaps in the minds of the Sequoyah players — there is likely a budding ambition: get past the state semifinals.

In each of the past four seasons, Sequoyah has won it’s Class 3A state tournament opener, only to fall short in low scoring games in the semifinals.

The most recent outcome? A 3-0 setback in eight innings against Morris.

“Maybe one of these days we can get over that hump,” Turtle said. “We just have to give ourselves that chance.”

The Lady Indians should find themselves in the same situation this season, barring an unforeseen down turn.

But with Jessica Bluebird in the pitching circle, that’s not likely to happen.

“We’ve always had that one (pitcher) that we could rely on,” Turtle said, before talking about Bluebird’s cohort in the pitching circle. “Katie (Phillips) is coming on now and that’s good.”

On offense, Sequoyah only loses one player form last year’s team — but it was a departure that will alter this season’s batting order.

Replacing All-State shortstop Saharra Henson will be Kelsey Leach, who will also shift into the lead-off spot in the order.

“She’s good at working counts and at running,” Turtle said of Leach, who played to Henson’s right at third base last season.

Filling Henson’s void at the No. 3 hole in the batting order will be first baseman Megan Towie.

“Hopefully she’ll be able to drive in some runs,” Turtle said.

Other returning starters will include second baseman Kara Linch and outfielders, Jamie Linch, Rhanda Walker and Baylee Ratliff.

“With Saharra gone, it’ll be a little different,” Turtle said of his four-year starter. “We just have to find someone to drive in some runs.”

Sequoyah’s season officially gets underway Tuesday at Stilwell.

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