Owasso Softball Completes an Impressive Season

By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer

Courtesy Owasso High School Athletics
RUNNERS UP: The 2019 Owasso Lady Rams softball reached the Class 6A state final for the first time in eight years.

Owasso made an impressive run this season to the Class 6A state championship game and for awhile, appeared on course to win the title.
In recent years, the Lady Rams (26-14) had often been dominant through the regular season en route to the state tournament, only to be eliminated in the first round. This season, thanks to experience and a senior-loaded squad, they made it to the state final for the first time in eight years.
“We had to get that monkey off our back,” Owasso coach Shane Eicher said. “Going into regional play and going into the state tournament, that was the best softball I had seen a team play and what I mean by that is we pitched great, we hit great and we played great defense. All three came together.
“Even in years past, we had the talent,” Eicher said. “We always had one bad inning and in a single-elimination tournament, one bad inning will get you beat. These kids were determined not to let that happen and it was just incredible to watch them play for the last two weeks of the season.”
Owasso faced seventh-seeded Edmond Memorial (28-8) in the state final, which was played Oct. 19 in Shawnee and succumbed to a 3-2 defeat. “Once again, it was one inning that made the difference. But, this time it was well-earned by the opponent,” Eicher said.
Junior pitcher Lily Shaw helped the Lady Rams took a 1-0 lead with a solo shot home run in the second inning. Shaw would be a factor in both ends as she finished 2-for-3 at the plate. Her other hit was a double that drove in the second run in the bottom of the sixth. In the circle, Shaw allowed just four hits.
“She pitched great,” Eicher said of Shaw. “What she did at the state tournament, hitting like .700 with three home runs and 10 RBIs, that is almost unheard of.”
Edmond Memorial had a three-run rally in the fifth. A two-run hit and a sacrifice fly accounted for the runs.
“They had a walk that kind of hurt us, which we thought might have been a strike and then (Beth McAnally) got a nice hit. They earned it,” Eicher said. “They earned their three hits (in the inning) and we didn’t give them anything. We didn’t make any errors. It was a clean game. I was so proud of our team.”
One big moment came in the semifinals when the Lady Rams stunned top-seeded Broken Arrow, 8-5. B.A. had been tearing up the fields with only two defeats in the regular season.
“They are our biggest rival and I say that respectfully,” Eicher said. “They (B.A.) have a great team and a lot of our kids play on the same summer team with each other. Our players were just excited. It seems like once we got past that first round (a 4-3 win over Westmoore), they just felt like they could play anybody. We turned around and scored four in the second and before you know it, it was 7-1. We threw the first punch and we just kept going. They were so awesome.”
A total of 16 seniors – 13 players and three team managers – completed their final season in Ram uniforms.
“This year, we had more seniors than we’ve ever had,” Eicher said. “This whole senior class has been here since eighth grade, they’re just a tight-knit group, just a bunch of great kids.”
Eight seniors are committed to play softball in college, including shortstop Paige Knight, who is headed for the University of Oklahoma to play for Patty Gasso.
Others include third baseman Payton Compton (Seminole State College), outfielder Allene Dennis (Mid-America College), outfielder Tiegen Denny (Lacross at Oklahoma Baptist), outfielder Jaycee Hampton (Northwestern Oklahoma State), second baseman/first baseman Annslee Leeviraphan (Evangel), third baseman Chloe Sams (Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan.,) and pitcher/first baseman Emilee Norton (Southern Nazarene). All are supposed to sign this month.
Catcher Aaliyah Ahmed, second baseman/catcher Calee Gregory and pitcher Aubrey Schroyer are undecided, but plan to play college softball.
“I’m super proud of these kids,” Eicher said. “They earned it. We played well and they were just a real blessing to be able to coach and they’re going to be missed tremendously. They made Owasso softball a better place.”

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