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Marlow softball sophomore catcher Kaytlyn Kizarr knows full well the pressure’s on her and her team, as it heads to the Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee for the state playoffs on Thursday.
One of the smaller players on the team, Kizarr has provided a big impact. Her roles of leadoff hitter and starting backstop come with a leadership requirement, even if coach Brian Miller didn’t tell her that at the beginning of the season.
“The other players, they think of me as a leader,” Kizarr said before Tuesday’s practice. “I try my best and just keep letting them believe that.”
While Kizarr is a bit shy of putting added pressure on herself, she can’t wait to be the first player to hit in Thursday’s opening game against Davis.
“I like it, because I normally do get on,” Kizarr said. “It relaxes everybody.”
At least Kizarr won’t feel out of place at the stadium. The Outlaws played there at the Tuttle Tournament in August. The field isn’t the only thing that the team expects to be familiar. Junior Abbey Warren, verbally committed to Cameron University, isn’t expecting too much of a downturn from the offense.
If that holds true, Marlow will be in good position every game, because its junior pitcher Gigi Wall can pitch with anyone. Miller thinks that anyone can win the tournament, even the No. 4 seeded Outlaws.
“I think we are a four or five team, but do we have the potential to win it all? Yeah, I believe that also,” Miller said. “It’s how you handle the pressure. Right now, we’re playing as good or better than any team around, but how do we handle the pressure of the mystique of being at the state tournament?”
Miller went on to mention the importance of getting past the first game, where eyes will be a bit wider than any point in the tournament. That first game will start at 1 p.m. on field four.