Tahlequah head coach Chris Ray, and seniors Lexi Hannah and Hailey Enlow have each received top 5A-4 Fastpitch Softball All-District honors.
Ray, who guided the Lady Tigers to a 27-10 overall record, a district championship and a fourth consecutive trip to the Class 5A State Tournament, was named the 5A-4 Coach of the Year. The 27 wins were the most in a single season during Ray’s tenure in Tahlequah.
“It speaks volumes to the kids we’ve got and their willingness to go out every day, work hard to get better and improve their performance,” Ray said. “That accolade is nice to receive, but I think it reflects more on how the kids have adapted to the system and how they show up and work every day.”
Hannah was selected the 5A-4 Player of the Year, the first Tahlequah player to earn the honor under Ray. The shortstop was one of two Tahlequah players to hit over .400. She had a .463 on-base percentage, and led the team in hits (43), runs scored (39) and stolen bases (19).
“It’s a great achievement for her to cap off her fastpitch career,” Ray said. “She’s been a significant contributor to this program for four years in a variety of different ways, both offensively and defensively. A majority of the coaches raved about how difficult it was to get her out at the plate. She could bunt for a base hit, or if you brought the outfield in, she could hit the ball over your head. She had a little bit of pop for a small kid. I think it was a fitting end for her fastpitch career.”
Enlow was chosen the 5A-4 Defensive Player of the Year. As a first baseman, Enlow committed just nine errors over her entire career. She also gave the Lady Tigers a solid bat in the middle lineup where she led the team with a .424 batting average and .474 on-base percentage. Enlow also had team-highs in RBIs (23) and doubles (12).
“Hailey worked really hard to make herself a really good first baseman,” Ray said. “She finished her career with less than 10 errors. She dug a lot of throws in the dirt, she was solid on bunt coverage, and if a ball was within her wingspan, she was going to catch it. Offensively, she led us in batting average and RBIs and just got better at the plate every year. She was the kind of kid you could count on in the middle of the lineup. She’ll be sorely missed.”
The Lady Tigers had five players earn 5A-4 All-District First Team honors. Junior Mikah Vann was one of three pitchers chosen, junior Jayley Ray was selected at third base, senior Mia Allen was chosen an outfielder, sophomore Jadyn Buttery was one of two catchers selected, and sophomore Charlea Cochran was picked as a utility player.
Vann was a 20-game winner with a 1.32 earned run average in the pitcher’s circle. Vann had over 150 strikeouts and issued just 21 walks.
Ray was second on the team with 22 runs batted in and hit .376 while committing just one error, and Allen was the centerpiece of the outfield in center for four years. Buttery batted .333 and drove in 20 runs, and Cochran had a team-best 18 walks and a .432 on-base percentage.
Madi Matthews, Amelia Miller, Jersey Retzloff and Loren Walker were each named 5A-4 Honorable Mention.
Durant’s Abi Gregory was selected the 5A-4 Pitcher of the Year, and Glenpool’s Kayten Herman was voted the Offensive Player of the Year.