It’s been an unpleasant start to the softball season for Hulbert.
The Lady Riders, currently 3-8 under head coach Bobby Tehee, have dealt with injuries to key players, and on Tuesday, their doubleheader against Chouteau was postponed due to Chouteau being in quarantine with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Tehee, who has been put through the virus himself and was quarantined for 10 days in early July, saw the potential of games being put on hold at some point.
“Eventually, I thought we would run into this, I just didn’t know when,” he said. “I’m just trying to take it day by day, week by week. I’m just glad that we haven’t had to do that personally as a team yet.
“They’re district games so we’ll have to reschedule. Their head coach [Travis Wheeler] has put some dates out there, but we could possibly play maybe this Saturday, depending on if they’re clear of quarantine.”
Hulbert has dropped four of its last five games, including a 17-0 loss to Webbers Falls on Monday. The last win came against Okmulgee, 15-5, last week at the Okmulgee Tournament. The other two wins this season have come against Central Sallisaw and Oklahoma City Capitol Hill.
Savanna Hamby, Lilly Chambers and Alyssa Fair have bolstered the offense, each hitting over .400. Hamby leads the team with a .556 average, Chambers is batting .480, and Fair is at .429. Chambers has a team-high 11 runs driven in, and Kaylei Cannon, Haylee Mullins and Hamby each have two doubles, while Fair has a triple. The Lady Riders are hitting .361 as a team.
Tehee is going through a youth phase with his team.
In Monday’s setback, freshmen pitchers Callie Price and Fair issued a combined 14 walks in five innings.
“We’re still young, kinda like last year where we were trying to recover from a great year,” he said. “We didn’t play very well on [Monday]. We didn’t pitch very well, as I should say. We walked 14 batters, and you can’t do that. I pitched my two freshmen and they just didn’t have a good day.”
Chambers, the primary starting pitcher, has a 2-5 mark with a 7.25 earned run average over nine appearances, seven of those in a starting role. Chambers has 17 strikeouts in 28 innings, while issuing 18 walks. Hulbert has a 8.90 ERA as a team.
The offense produced just two hits against Webbers Falls. Amaya Rodriguez had a two-out infield single in the second inning, and Hamby added another infield single to begin the fourth.
The Lady Riders are playing without sophomore starting shortstop Kaiya Dearborn, who is out for the season after suffering an injury in a preseason scrimmage.
“We’re young, but we’ve also been hit by the injury bug,” Tehee said. “We’re struggling to replace our starting shortstop right now. Kaiya’s replacement is now dinged up. I had two dealing with a shoulder injury and then one of them came back. The other one’s trying to fight through it.”
Hulbert, winless at 0-2 in District 2A-7, will play a district doubleheader at Colcord on Thursday.