Lady Wolves to battle familiar foe Owasso in Class 6A State Tournament

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star
The Shawnee High School softball team poses with its Class 6A regional championship trophy last Friday.

When the Shawnee Lady Wolves open the Class 6A State Fastpitch Softball Tournament tonight at 6:30, they will be battling a familiar foe – the Owasso Lady Rams – on Field 4 at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.

Both teams were part of the same district this season as they split a doubleheader in Owasso on Sept. 12. Shawnee took the first game by a 2-0 count, behind the pitching of ace Anneca Anderson, while Owasso scored an 8-2 victory in the nightcap.

That loss came after the Lady Wolves got off to a 17-0 start to the season.

“They're tough. We played them right after a two-week layoff (due to some rainouts),” said Shawnee head coach David Rolette. “We were up on them 2-1 in the second game. We committed three errors in one inning and gave up five runs.”

Rolette is seeking a cleaner game for Shawnee this time around.

“We'll have to pitch, hit well and play good defense,” Rolette said.

The Lady Wolves enter the state tournament with a 28-7 record after sweeping a three-game home regional, defeating Ponca City once and Bixby twice, last week.

Owasso is 28-8 and battled its way through five games in its regional at Choctaw last week. After dropping their opener to Tulsa Union, the Lady Rams came back to beat Sapulpa, Tulsa Union and Choctaw twice.

“We ended up as the No. 4 seed for the (state) tournament and Owasso is No. 5,” said Rolette. “There are not really any easy teams in 6A. We told the girls to survive and advance to Friday and then survive and advance to Saturday.”

Shawnee has played five of the seven potential opponents at state this season. The only teams they haven't played are Edmond Memorial and Mustang.

The Lady Wolves will go into state, riding the arm of the sophomore Anderson, who has a 13-2 record. Shawnee also has two other capable pitchers in seniors Stormee Reed and Baylie Enright. Reed owns a 10-3 record and Enright is 5-2.

Offensively for the Lady Wolves, senior shortstop Tatum Sparks tops the team with a .533 batting average. Four other Shawnee players are hitting well over .300, including Anderson, outfielder Hallie Wilson, infielder Laynie Rimer and catcher Carly Torbett.

The keys for the Lady Wolves advancing and capturing a state crown are obvious, according to Rolette.

“If we get timely hitting, good pitching and good defense, we should be fine,” said Rolette.

Should Shawnee win today, the Lady Wolves will face the Edmond Memorial-Stillwater winner at 1:30 p.m. Friday on Field 4. The 6A State Championship game is set for Saturday at 5 p.m. in Hall of Fame Stadium.