Every team enters a new sports season with one goal: hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the year. But that honor only goes to one team each season. And at the end of the 2022 slowpitch softball season, the Southmoore Sabercats were the last team standing. Head coach James Lingo says that last year was great, but he is looking forward to another outstanding season upcoming.
“Last season was about as good as it gets,” he stated. “We won the 2022 Class 6A Slowpitch State Championship. We beat some really good teams; Owasso, Moore, and Choctaw in that order at the tournament. Just like every season, our expectations are the same this season., compete at a high level, earn a birth in the state tournament, and play well in that tournament to win a state championship. We lost several key players from last year’s team, but we have good players in our program that are ready to step up and make their own mark.”
The 2023 edition of the Lady Sabercats is made up of solid offensive and defensive playmakers.
“We have four seniors that play a huge role for our team,” Lingo said. “Taitum Bradshaw, Taylor Cronic, and Riley Sharp have experience and are excellent hitters and fielders. Bella Aguilar is carving out a role as a quality pitcher. Juniors Kaylee Carter, Brylee Fanning, and Lainey King are great hitters that hit for average and power. Kayla Stover is also handling some pitching duties and hits with power. Abby Whitmore is also a solid contributor off the bench as a pitcher and hitter. Sophomores Bree Gomez and Olivia Smith are also in the starting lineup. They both possess speed and excellent defense. Freshman Kandace Burnett has also found herself in the regular lineup. Kandace can hit for average and plays excellent defense. Freshman Karissa Reddout provides power off the bench. Freshman Shelby Boyd plays excellent defense and baserunning when called upon.”
While they may not win all the games they compete in, coach Lingo says that his team knows how to work and have fun together.
“We have a great group of athletes this year,” he said. “They are fun to coach and be around. They go out and compete with the ultimate goal to hold up that trophy on the last day.”