The Duncan Banner

Sports

March 13, 2013

Eagles hope experience leads to wins

WAURIKA — Slowpitch softball is a sport that puts a premium on defense and hitting — which makes Ivy Fitzgerald think Waurika could raise a little ruckus in the 2013 season.

“The strategy in slowpitch is to score and to play good defense,” Fitzgerald said, as the Lady Eagles were getting a final polish before opening the campaign Monday by splitting a pair of games with Geronimo, losing 15-1 and winning 15-6.

“I think we’ll be pretty solid on defense, and we’ve had some players who’ve been striking the ball good in practices. We could have a pretty good season.”

Fitzgerald can base some of that optimism on a roster loaded with experienced players. The core from Waurika’s fastpitch team is also playing slowpitch, with the veterans coming off a 18-17-1 fall season that set a program standard for most wins in a single season.

Some of those players find themselves in different positions than they played in fastpitch, but that’s were the defensive strategy comes into play.

Although senior Staci Brandon was a standout shortstop in fastpitch, she’s taking her athleticism to center field for slow pitch. The four-year fastpitch starter joins an outfield that includes junior left fielder Karrington Morris and sophomore rover Kianah Swift.

Morris is WHS’ No. 1 pitcher in fastpitch, but has the athletic skills to be very effective in the outfield, while the youngest of the two Swift sisters also has quickness and experience.

Right field could feature a rotation of sophomore Kylie Richardson, freshmen Kristan Phillips and Sancey Barton, and senior Cara Sampley, who is playing high school ball for the first time.

Moving Brandon to the outfield also allows the Lady Eagles to prepare junior Courtland Henderson to take over Brandon’s spot at shortstop, which will be a key when the fastpitch season arrives.

“Having Staci in the outfield will help us there. She’s got a lot of speed, and it gives Courtland a chance to get some shortstop experience there for fall,” Fitzgerald said. “Having Karrington in left field will also help us.

“Kianah played in the outfield last fall, so I think our outfield will be pretty good.”

Junior Kirstin Berthiaume, who is Waurika’s No. 2 fastpitch pitcher, will spend most of her time at first base in the spring. Fitzgerald hopes freshman Laken Forsyth can handle the bulk of the pitching chores.

The Lady Eagles skipper said summer and fall fastpitch is a motive to keep Morris and Berthiaume at defensive positions in slowpitch.

“Because of the difference in pitching motion, it could create bad habits for fastpitch for Karrington and Kirstin to pitch slowpitch,” Fitzgerald noted. “Laken’s younger and has been practicing (slowpitch delivery), and she’s doing a good job of getting the ball in the strike zone.”

A pair of seniors will start at the other two infield positions. Savanna Mathews became a solid player for the Lady Eagles in the 2012 fall season and will be at second base, while Reyna Swift shifts from behind the plate in the fall to third for slowpitch.

The older Swift sister began her WHS career at third. She moved behind the plate as a sophomore but is going back to third, which will cause less wear on a right knee that was injured in basketball season.

Reyna Swift was the Most Valuable Player in the Southern Eight Conference following the fastpitch season, during which she hit what’s believed to be a program record for home runs in a single season.

With Swift at third, sophomore Megan Waid will draw the catching nod for the slowpitch season.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 4-18 duncan track photo.jpg Track teams head to Norman

    The Duncan track athletes travel to Norman today for a meet at the University of Oklahoma.
    Duncan boys coach Todd Ledford said that the Demons will be one of just three Class 5A teams attending. The rest of the teams are 6A.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Demon baseball beats Plainview in extra innings

    The Duncan baseball team had to go extra innings and then hold off a late rally to win at Plainview 3-2 Thursday.
    The game was tied 1-1 after seven innings. The Demons broke the tie with two runs in the top of the eighth, but Plainview battled back to make it 3-2 in its half of the inning.

    April 18, 2014

  • More home tourney action awaits Demons

    Another weekend of home matches await the Duncan tennis teams.
    The BancFirst Tournament will be at the Duncan High School tennis courts, with the girls playing Friday and the boys Saturday. The tourneys come one week after Duncan hosted the Southern Oklahoma Invitational.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Empire baseball.jpg Bulldog pitching staff builds confidence

    Heading towards the postseason, Empire is closing in on the possibility of winning record thanks in large part to its improvements on defense.
    The Bulldogs (10-11) have cut down the errors from 10 or more a game to two or three a game. Coach Stefan Hunt said that’s led to the pitchers seeing some better results on the mound. Though, the pitchers have improved their game as well.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 duncan baseball photo.jpg Demons in close district race

    The Duncan baseball team is in a close race to finish in the top four in District 2-5A and earn a trip to regionals.
    Duncan is 7-3 in district and in third place. First-place Carl Albert has lost just one district game. The Titans split with second-place Chickasha, which also split with Duncan.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 jaz gayanich signing photo.jpg Gayanich to play for Panhandle State

    Velma-Alma senior Jaz Gayanich signed Wednesday to play basketball for Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell.
    Gayanich said Panhandle coach Jerry Olsen was upfront about his program and ideas, compared to other coaches Gayanich visited. Gayanich already knows what role he’s expected to play.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who knew John Humphrey respected him

    Duncan resident Rod Battles got to know John Humphrey pretty well.
    Battles first played Duncan High School baseball for Humphrey in 1965. He later returned to DHS, when Humphrey hired him as an assistant, and later head baseball coach. After both men retired, they became fishing buddies. Humphrey joined Battles and others for annual trips to Lake Texhoma.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 VA baseball Comets stay calm under pressure

    Lately, Velma-Alma baseball has made a habit of having some exciting finishes.
    In its home tournament, the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament, last weekend, it won four of five games. All of those victories came by less than five runs and two of them were by only one run.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Course challenges Lady Demons

    The Duncan girls golf team took sixth at the longest course it has played this year.
    KickingBird Golf Course is 5,300 yards. Add the windy conditions at the tournament hosted by Edmond Santa Fe and it made for a challenging day.

    April 17, 2014

  • Demon boys see Guthrie tennis action

    Some younger Duncan boys tennis players got experience at a tournament hosted by Guthrie Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
    The Demons had to adjust their lineup, though, after Cameron McCasland, who was to play No. 1 doubles with Alan Hruby, got sick. Sam Moffit was moved from No. 1 singles to take McCasland’s place

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
Poll

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results