LIGHTNING GIRLS: Pictured from l to r in the back row are: Samantha Bachman, Amy Graham, Braelyn Mitchem, Erin Monday, Sydney Bell, Rachel Mitchell and Veronica Arizpe. In the front row are: Lindsey Evans, Caitlyn Marlow, Chelsey Lunn, Meranda Teague and Alysha Adams.
GTR Newspapers photo
The Tulsa Lightning placed third in the Broken Arrow Girls Softball League 16-and-under Tournament Championship last weekend, finishing the tournament tough after competing in seven games between Saturday and Sunday. The team was an offensive powerhouse throughout the tournament outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 23 to 14. The tournament included thirteen 16-and-under teams from throughout Oklahoma along with one team from Wichita.
The Tulsa Lightning is a 16-and-under Class A Competitive Softball Team based in Tulsa, which has been an organized team since 1998, and has an extremely successful past including winning the 2003 NASI National Championship. The team is coached by Rick Adams, Mark Graham and Billy Allen and is comprised of top amateur female athletes from throughout northeastern Oklahoma including Broken Arrow, Tulsa, Dewey, Glenpool, Hominy, Miami, and Sand Springs.
The Lightning started off the weekend shorthanded, with their starting second baseman Alysha Adams of Tulsa out with an injured quad, and leadoff batter Amy Graham of Hominy playing in the Jenks Basketball Camp throughout Saturday morning.
The team played tough, but wound up losing back-to-back games in the entry “Pool Play” on Saturday morning against the Oklahoma Classics 4-0 and the Wichita Twisters 2-1. This placed the team in a bad predicament having to start off bracket play from last place.
Fortunately, Amy Graham was able to arrive before the first tournament game. So the girls started out tournament play against the Oklahoma Bratz on Saturday afternoon.
The Tulsa-based Bratz are one of the hottest up-and-coming 14-and-under A-teams in the state. They play so well they were able to compete in the 16-and-under tournament. The Bratz have won first place in several tournaments this year including the PFX Tour Pro-Am Slam 14-and-under, the TGSF 16-and-under in April, and the Broken Arrow Easter Bunny Classic. Both teams started off playing hard and never gave up. Inevitably the elder, more experienced Tulsa Lightning prevailed in a defensive battle winning by a final score of 4-3.
Next up for the Lightning girls was the Broken Arrow-based Oklahoma Integrity. It consists of girls from throughout the Tulsa area. The Lightning girls played hard from the very beginning and got their bats going strong, winning early by a final score of 7-0.
The Lightning girls were left with another rematch against the Twisters from Wichita for one final chance to advance to the championship game. The Lightning girls battled to the bitter end. They found some momentum, scoring one quick run, but overall, fell short in the 5-7 loss. It was a great game and the coaches, parents and fans were proud of both teams’ efforts. This was by definition exactly what a semi-final, championship game should be–a great match of talent and good, honest play. Congratulations, girls!