When most people look back at the year 2020, they will do so with an understanding it is not a normal year. It will always be colored by the dark presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ponca City Lady Cat softball Coach Daniel Wood is one who has that feeling about the recently completed fast pitch softball season.
“It was an insane year,” Wood said when asked about his feelings about the season. “It was a crazy year. It was the craziest year I’ve ever had in coaching with all the things we had to do with the COVID-19 protocols. We had kids missing for games, I was missing for games, due to quarantine requirements. But I’m really proud of the girls. They never let any one thing get to them. They did a great job of handling everything. Hopefully things will level out for next season.”
The Lady Cats finished with a 10-28 record. Highlights of the season included an earlyseason doubleheader sweep over Muskogee, a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Woodward in the Perry Tournament, a 6-5 win over Stillwater, wins over Geary and Classen SAS in the Bethany Tournament, and a doubleheader sweep over Sapulpa. The win over Stillwater was especially significant since Stillwater later qualified for the Class 6A State Tournament. Wood said that despite the
Wood said that despite the win-loss record, he is proud of his young team’s effort this season. “ We’ve been very young the last two years. But we won’t be able to use our youth as an excuse next year. We lose only two so we will have experienced players coming back.”
Margaret Blackstar is one of the players who will be back next year. She led the team in hitting with a .429 batting average. She hit six doubles and nine triples and drove in 21 runs for the season. Others who played in a majority of the games included Madelyn Blackstar, .309 average with 4 doubles, 2 triples and 10 RBI’s; Taylor McMartin, .247 average, 8 doubles, 1 triple and 18 RBIs; Taylin Fry, .228 average and 4 RBIs; Alex Zimmerschied, .217 average, 8 doubles, 3 triples and 19 RBIs; Allanah Florez, .209 average, 1 double, 1 triple and 6 RBIs; Libby Clark, .190 average, 3 doubles, 1 triple and 6 RBIs; Savannah Clark, .193 average, 4 doubles, 1 triple and 7 RBIs; and Tori Freeman, .138 average, 2 doubles and 9 RBIs. Brea Rhea had the team’s only home run this season.
The team will be looking for a new pitcher next season, as Libby Clark is one of the seniors. She handled the majority of the pitching workload this year. However, Wood noted that her sister, Savannah, will be back and is expected to providing pitching leadership for next season.