Oklahoma HS slowpitch softball: Mustang, Red Oak, Whitesboro & North Rock Creek win state titles
Nick Sardis Oklahoman
Oct 3, 2023
Class 5A: North Rock Creek 6, Washington 5
The North Rock Creek slowpitch softball team has known throughout the season it could rely on Caty Baack.
Whether it’s in the batter’s box or in the circle, the Rose State signee has been a consistent force for the Cougars.
And in North Rock Creek’s final game of the season, Baack came through yet again.
Baack finished with three hits, including one homer, and three RBI as she led North Rock Creek to a 6-5 victory over Washington in the Class 5A state title game Tuesday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
North Rock had a strong start and led 4-0 at the end of the third inning.
Katie Larson drove in one run in the first inning, Baack had an RBI in the second and Morgan and Molly Campbell each drove in one in the third.
North Rock Creek’s final two runs came in the fourth inning on a Baack homer.
North Rock Creek led 6-2 heading into the sixth, but a three-run homer by Washington’s Skylar Wells with two outs made it 6-5.
Despite the rally, Baack and the Cougars didn’t get tense and escaped the sixth and seventh without giving up the lead.
“I like how our team stays calm,” Baack said. “Because our team doesn’t freak out. We stay calm. And when I’m pitching, I try to take a deep breath and just slow down the game for a second.”
North Rock Creek (38-2) claimed the Class 5A title last year, its first in any sport, and is starting to solidify itself as a slowpitch powerhouse.
Washington (39-4) won the Class 4A crown in 2022 and beat North Rock Creek 15-13 in the regular season this year, but the Cougars made a strong statement Tuesday.
“We started the softball program three years ago, and this is our third state championship to play in,” North Rock Creek coach Chance Griffin said. “Pretty special for such a new program.”
Class 6A: Mustang 17, Southmoore 15
There were plenty of fireworks in the final game of the day at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
Thirteen home runs. Thirty-four hits. A back-and-forth battle.
But in the end, Mustang did just enough to claim its second slowpitch state title.
The Broncos beat defending champion Southmoore 17-15 Tuesday night for their second championship in the sport.
In a game that resembled a home run derby at times, Mustang had three players finish with two homers — Rylann Beeson, Lexy Kierstead and Reese Poage.
Also homering for the Broncos (30-4) were Eden Anderson, Madeline Rush, Nyli Brown and Mackenzie Sessions.
Mustang led 8-1 in the top of the third inning, but Southmoore (23-12) answered in a big way in the bottom of the frame, scoring nine runs.
Southmoore took a 14-9 lead in the fifth, but Mustang stormed back.
“This team swung it well all year,” Mustang coach Lacy Darity said. “I think anybody you ask about us, ‘They swing it well.’ And that’s always going to give us a chance.”
The game included a valiant performance by Mustang pitcher Emerson Pegram.
She suffered a tibia injury a couple of weeks ago and was likely playing with a fracture. She plans to get it checked out Friday.
“At the end of the day, I was going to give everything that I had for us to be on top, so I just kind of had to work through it,” she said.
Southmoore’s offense was also exceptional Tuesday.
Olivia Smith had two homers and four RBI. Taitum Bradshaw and Lainey King each had one homer and three RBI.
Class A: Red Oak 16, Hammon 3 (6)
The Red Oak slowpitch softball team got up bright and early Tuesday morning.
With the Eagles beginning the state tournament with the 8:30 a.m. game, they left their hotel around 6:30, and coach Casey Butcher had a message for his squad.
“There’s a lot of kids that never get to do this,” he said. “So we aren’t going to gripe about an 8:30 game.”
Despite the early start time, Red Oak showed up ready to play Tuesday. And with three straight victories, the Eagles are slowpitch state champions for the first time since 2021.
With Allie Tovar leading the way, Red Oak beat Hammon 16-3 in six innings in the Class A title game at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, claiming its seventh state crown in the sport.
Tovar hit two homers and had six RBI.
Graciee Noggle also had two homers, while Kaylee Bryce, Maycee Butcher and Abbie Tovar each had one.
Overall, it was a dominant performance for Red Oak, which scored 61 runs Tuesday and finished with a 35-5 record. Hammon finished 30-10.
Red Oak scored four runs in the first inning and had an 8-2 lead in the third inning before piling it on from there and securing the win.
Red Oak was in Class 2A last year and didn't advance to the state tournament for the first time since making 38 consecutive trips when accounting for both slowpitch and fastpitch softball.
But Red Oak made up for that this year.
"I'm just very lucky to be able to coach these young ladies," Butcher said. "They're great people."
Class B: Whitesboro 15, Leedey 5 (6 innings)
For the first time, Whitesboro can add a state championship to its trophy case.
The Bulldogs claimed their first state crown in any sport Tuesday as they defeated Leedey 15-5 in six innings for the Class B title at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
Addison Walker and Kayleigh Walker each had five RBI and one homer, while Madison Grogan had two homers and drove in four runs.
“She’s hit some balls, I’m not sure they’ve even landed yet,” Whitesboro coach Peyton Baker said of Grogan.
Whitesboro (32-9) scored two runs in the first frame and started to pull away in the second as they added six runs and led 8-1 at the end of the inning.
Leedey (26-15) showed some life and scored three runs in the third on a homer by Daycee Danielson, but Whitesboro’s combined seven runs in the fifth and sixth put the game away.
For Baker, the victory was the perfect exclamation point to a stellar season after finishing as the state runner-up in fastpitch softball in the fall.
“Most of these girls have been playing together since they were little bitty T-ballers,” Baker said. “They’re from Whitesboro. They’re Whitesboro girls. And they’ve worked their butt off ever since they were that young to try to get here in this moment.”