Oklahoma High School Slowpitch Softball: Storylines, Players To Watch At 2023 State Tournament
Nick Sardis Oklahoman
Oct 1, 2023
The final week of the 2023 Oklahoma high school slowpitch softball season has arrived.
The Class 6A-B championships will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex.
Classes 6A, 5A, A and B will play Tuesday, while Classes 4A, 3A and 2A will compete Wednesday.
Here are some OKC-area storylines and players to watch.
Washington looks to repeat with a twist
The Washington Warriors are in Class 5A after dominating the Class 4A state tournament last year, and they remain one of the state’s best teams.
Washington has an impressive record of 37-3, and its lone losses were against Class 4A fourth-ranked Silo, Class 3A No. 1 Caddo and Class 6A No. 3 Southmoore. All of those games were close, with Washington losing by a combined five runs.
The Warriors have a veteran group, and that should bode well for them in the state tournament.
If they make it to the finals, there’s a good chance they’ll face defending Class 5A state champion North Rock Creek, which is on the opposite side of the bracket.
The teams faced off in the regular season, and Washington won 15-13 after Maggie Place hit a two-run walk-off homer.
North Rock Creek remains a team to watch
The Cougars are one of the best teams in the state, regardless of class.
They won their first state title in any sport last year after beating Perkins-Tryon 15-0 in three innings in the title game.
That game included a father vs. son head coaching battle as Perkins-Tryon’s David Griffin led his team against son Chance Griffin of North Rock Creek.
North Rock Creek made a statement in that game and has rolled this season. The Cougars are 35-2, with their only losses coming against Class 5A top-ranked Washington and Class 6A No. 5 Choctaw.
Mustang looks to make a deep run
The Broncos are the top-ranked team in Class 6A, which includes several teams that have a legitimate shot of claiming the title.
Mustang has gotten hot at the right time and takes a seven-game win streak into the state tournament.
The Broncos beat defending Class 6A state champion Southmoore 9-1 during the streak and are 27-4 on the season.
Eden Anderson and Lexy Kierstead among Mustang’s top players, and the Broncos’ offense has been remarkable at times. Mustang scored a combined 40 runs in its two regional games against Lawton Eisenhower.
Players to watch in Oklahoma high school softball state tournament
Caty Baack, Sr., North Rock Creek: The Rose State signee has a medical condition called Phenylketonuria that forces her to take 75 pills of vitamins, supplements and minerals per day, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming an outstanding softball player. She’s North Rock Creek’s starting pitcher and one of the best hitters in the state.
Taitum Bradshaw, Sr., Southmoore: A Grand Canyon State signee, she helped the SaberCats claim the Class 6A state title last year and will try to do the same this season as one of their key veteran leaders.
Karsen Griggs, Jr., Dale: A Kansas commit, she’s the top player for a Class 3A Dale team that is 33-5 and has won 12 straight games. The Pirates are ranked second behind Caddo, and those teams will meet in the finals if they take care of business in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
Serenity Jacoway, Jr., Tecumseh: She’s committed to the University of Texas at El Paso. Jacoway and Class 5A Tecumseh will play Cache in the Class 5A quarterfinals with the chance to face the Dickson-North Rock Creek winner in the semifinals.Abby Wood, Sr., Washington: A Grayson College commit, she’s one of Washington’s top hitters and a veteran leader that will try to help the Warriors repeat as state champions.