Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Tuttle’s Cambrye Moore fields a throw to first base during a game against Newcastle earlier this season. The Lady Tigers host a regional tournament Thursday and Friday. (File photo)
 
By Jeff Harrison
Managing Editor

Introductions won’t be necessary Thursday when the Class 4A fast pitch regional tournament gets underway at Jerry Bates Field.

No. 3-ranked Tuttle will host a pair of fellow Canadian Valley Conference rivals in Newcastle and Bethany, as well as Kingfisher for a trip to the state tournament.

“It will be great playing at home and it will be even bigger against our rivals,” senior Shelby Carel said.
Senior Shelbi Robinett is also excited to host a regional and expects a strong home field advantage.
“We get great support during all our games and that really pumps us up,” she said. “We’re hoping it will be even bigger for regionals.”

The Lady Tigers feel good about their chances of making a sixth straight trip to the state tournament. They have beaten both Newcastle (9-1) and Bethany (8-1) this season. They have not played Kingfisher.

“We’re confident in our team but we don’t want to let our guard down,” Carel said.

Coach Jennifer White says her team is playing well late in the year, but doesn’t think they’ve peaked.

“We’re not there yet. And when we do get everything going, we’ll be a scary and dominating team,” White said.
Robinett says part of that improvement will be consistency at the plate and in the field.

“I think we need to communicate better defensively and get some hits and bunts down on offense,” she said. “Hitting is contagious for us. Once one person gets a hit, we really get going.”

Tuttle advanced to the state semifinals last year. They were eliminated by eventual state champion Oologah-Talala.

Newcastle (19-12) is the only other ranked team in the field at No. 15 in the coach’s polls. The Lady Racers advanced to regionals by defeating Bridge Creek in three games. They also own a 14-3 win against Bethany this season.

Bethany (17-14) advanced to regionals with a two-game sweep of Classen SAS. They beat Kingfisher 11-1 this season.

Kingfisher is the only unknown in the field. The Yellowjackets advanced to the regional with a pair of wins against John Marshall last week. The victories were Kingfisher’s only against 4A competition this season.

The double elimination tournament is set for Thursday and Friday. Tuttle and Kingfisher kick off tournament play with a noon game Thursday. Bethany and Newcastle follow at 1:45 p.m. The losers play at 3:30 p.m. with the winners’ game at 5:15 p.m.

Action resumes Friday at 11 a.m. with an elimination game. The winner will play the only undefeated team at 1 p.m. An “if necessary” game is set for 3 p.m.

Blanchard, Bethel, Tecumseh, Lone Grove, Ft. Gibson, Hilldale and Mannford will also each host a 4A regional tournament.

The state tournament is Oct. 17-19 at The Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee.




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