The Preston Lady Pirate varsity slowpitch softball team began their 2023 postseason schedule last Thursday by capturing the Class 4A district championship with a 10-0 win over the Hulbert Lady Riders.
The Lady Pirates notched their first playoff win of 2023 in last Thursday’s 3-team district tournament at the Jim Waller Sports Complex in Preston with a 17-6 victory over the Wyandotte Lady Bears.
The Preston diamond squad moved one step closer to the district crown by defeating Hulbert 16-1 in the first game of the Best of 3 battle for the district championship.
The Lady Pirates’ next obstacle in their journey towards their first state tournament appearance since 2019 will be the Class 4A regional tournament this Thursday in Pocola. The Preston ladies (ranked 6th in Class 4A) will begin regional tournament play Thursday at 2:15 p.m. against the 12th-ranked Kellyville Lady Ponies. The other opening-round game at the 4-team regional tournament in Pocola will take place at 1 p.m. and will pit the top-ranked Pocola Lady Indians against the 17th-ranked Heavener Lady Wolves.
The two opening-round winners will meet in the regional championship Thursday at 3:30 p.m. with the winner punching their ticket to the state tournament and the loser dropping into the consolation finals Thursday at 6 p.m. against the winner of Thursday’s elimination game between the two opening-round losers, which will take place Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The winner of the regional consolation title game will also punch their ticket to the state tournament.
In last Thursday’s playoff-opening win over Wyandotte, both teams tallied three runs in their half of the first for a 3-3 tie. The Lady Pirates took over the lead at 8-3 with a 5-run top of second.
Wyandotte made it an 8-4 contest with a run in the bottom of the second, then, after a scoreless third, both teams plated two runs in their half of the fourth for a 10-6 Preston lead after four innings of action.
The host Lady Pirates tacked on a run in the sixth and six in the seventh for the convincing 17-6 victory.
Emilie Stidman was the top offensive performer for Preston in the win, going 4 for 4 at the plate with four singles.
The quartet of Taylan Starr (3 for 5, 3 singles, RBI), Kristen Houlby (3 for 5, single, double, home run, 5 RBIs), Jaiden Harley (3 for 4, single, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs), and Kinlee Basquez (3 for 4, 3 singles, 3 RBIs) were next offensively for the Lady Pirates with three hits apiece. Houlby’s home run came on a 2-run shot in the first, while Harley blasted a 2-run home run in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth.
Celeste Pineda (2 for 4, 2 singles, RBI) and Jadyn Roberts (2 for 5, single, double, 2 RBIs) also recorded multi-hit games against Wyandotte with two hits each.
The final two Preston base hits against Wyandotte came on singles by McKenna Jones and Karris Tecumseh.
In last Thursday’s first meeting with Hulbert, the Lady Pirates opened the scoring with four runs in the top of the first.
After Hulbert tallied its lone run in the bottom of the first, the Preston squad plated five in the second and seven in the third to put the finishing touches on their 16-1 victory.
Jadyn Roberts (3 for 3, 3 singles, 2 RBIs) and McKenna Jones (3 for 3, 3 singles, RBI) were the top offensive performers in the run-rule win over Hulbert with three hits apiece.
Taylan Starr (2 for 4, single, double, RBI) and Kristen Houlby (2 for 3, 2 singles, RBI) also had multi-hit games for the Lady Pirates with two hits each.
The other Preston base hits in the run-rule win came on singles by Celeste Pineda and Karris Tecumseh, an RBI single by Jaiden Harley, a 2-run single by Kinlee Basquez, and a solo home run in the third by Emilie Stidman.
In last Thursday’s district title game against Hulbert, the Lady Pirates opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first.
After a scoreless second, the Preston squad plated four in their half of the third for a 5-0 advantage.
The Lady Pirates put the finishing touches on the shutout win and the district championship with a 5-run bottom of the fifth for the 10-0 decision.
The Preston offense was led by the duo of Kristen Houlby (2 for 3, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs) and Kinlee Basquez (2 for 3, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs) with two hits and 2 RBIs each.
Celeste Pineda (2 for 4, single, double) and McKenna Jones (2 for 3, 2 singles) also had multihit games for the Lady Pirates in the shutout win with two hits apiece.
The remaining Preston base hits in the district title game were a single by Jaiden Harley and RBI singles by Taylan Starr, Josie Cope, and Na’Braijhanae Phillips.
— Class 4A District Tournament First Game
Preston 17, Wyandotte 6
Preston: 3-5-0-2-0-1-6 17 – 22 – 8 Wyandotte:3-1-0-2-0-0-0 6- 9-2 WP: Josie Cope LP: Hotulke HR: Preston: Kristen Houlby, Jaiden Harley (2) — Second Game
Preston 16, Hulbert 1
Preston: 4 – 5 – 7 16 – 15 – 1 Hulbert:1-0-0 1-4-3 WP: Josie Cope LP: Price HR: Preston: Emilie Stidman — Championship
Preston 10, Hulbert 0 Hulbert:0-0-0-0-0 0-1-1 Preston:1-0-4-0-5 10 – 12 – 0 WP: Josie Cope LP: Farmer HR: None