theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

June 20, 2013

Eleven local All-Staters go down in history

Jeff Cali Sports Editor adanewssports@cableone.net
www.theadanews.com

Norman —

The 11 local athletes who were chosen to participate in the 2013 Oklahoma Slow-Pitch Softball Coaches Association All-State Games ended up being a part of a historic Saturday for the event.

None of them, however, wanted to go down in history quite like that.

After the completion of one inning of the small school All-State softball game, the stands were cleared after it was learned that thunderstorms were headed toward the University of Oklahoma Softball Complex. After watching the field become drenched by heavy rains for over an hour, OSSCA officials decided to cancel the All-State games altogether.

“We’re done,” OSSCA President Jennifer Matthews, former long-time head softball coach at Konawa, finally told folks in the press box during the downpour.

That meant Small East All-Staters Taylor Canida of Roff, Breann Gipson of Stonewall, Kimberly Helms of Stonewall, Alisha Huggins of Asher, Casey Kelley of Roff, Kate McCoy of Tupelo, Kasadi Reimers of Asher, Kayley Sanders of Tupelo; Middle East All-Staters Makenzi Lamb and Carlee Henderson of Latta; and Large West All-Stater Breana Warner of Byng didn’t get to showcase their skills before a large crowd inside the OU Softball Complex.

It’s believed 11 is the most All-Staters selected in one year from the teams in The Ada News coverage area. It’s a shame they didn’t get to play.

It looked like fans were in store for a heckuva treat in the small school (Classes A-2A) matchup.

In the top of the first inning, Hammon’s Peyton Walker followed base hits by Carly Jo Farmer of Pond Creek Hunter and  Selika Shives of Binger-Oney with a three-run homer to left field that gave the Small West a 3-0 lead.

The Small East got a sacrifice fly from Kelley — the only area athlete to get an at-bat — to trim the lead to 3-1 before the first inning ended and the game was halted for good.

It was disappointing for everyone involved.

How often does it rain in Oklahoma during the middle of June? Very seldom.

After polling many of the veteran slow-pitch softball coaches in attendance, none could remember the Slow-Pitch All-State games ever getting rained out during their 21-year run. The fastpitch All-State Games were rained out in 2006, according to some of the coaches, but no one could recall a slow-pitch canceled by Mother Nature.

So congratulations to all the area All-Staters for earning your way to the big event, and for being part of something that no one believes has ever occurred before.

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One really cool thing this sports writer learned while attending the lone inning (and hanging around during the delay) of the Slow-Pitch All-State Games was that three local coaches were OSSCA officers.

Not only does Matthews hold the organization’s top spot, but Latta’s Jim Foster Vice President and Roff’s Kathy Gregson (who is heading to Purcell High School) is the Executive Secretary.

Just goes to show how lucky this area is to have had these three coaches working in this neck of the woods for many years.

———o———

It was nice to get to hang out in the press box with former Konawa softball player Jackie Coats, who was going to be the official bookkeeper for the Slow-Pitch All-State games.

Ironically, The Ada News might have had as many as 13 All-Staters, but Konawa seniors — including Coats — didn’t fill out the proper forms to get a chance to be selected by the OSSCA committee.

“We didn’t fill out our paperwork,” she said. “We didn’t know if we would really have a shot.”

By the way, Coats and Carlee Henderson of Latta were both 2013 OSSCA Academic All-Staters.