Lady Broncos split doubleheader
By Patrick Osborne
The short-handed Mustang Lady Broncos softball team split its June 5 summer league doubleheader at home with Westmoore.
Missing numerous girls who will be on the diamond come fall, including University of Oklahoma commit Jayden Chestnut, the Lady Broncos dropped the first game 11-4, then followed up with a 7-3 win to salvage the night against the Jaguars.
Newly hired coach Bryan Howard sent freshman Anna Hammer to the circle for the first game of the night. Hammer went all five innings, competing well from start to finish.
The Lady Broncos started the game on a good note, with a one-out, two-run home run by Jacqlyn Kelm after Caisey Jones reached on a single for the first hit of the night. Mustang was on top of Westmoore 2-0 after the first inning of play.
The second inning was the start of troubles for the Broncos. After a double steal with no outs that brought runners to second and third, Westmoore tied the game at 2-2 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI ground-out. Mustang followed up with a quick three-up, three-down inning.
After giving up two more runs in the top of the third, Mustang looked to be in good position after Jones led off the inning with a single and quickly stole her way to third. The Broncos failed to capitalize, as Jones was thrown out attempting to steal home.
Westmoore opened up the floodgates in the fourth inning, scoring seven runs on a mixture of walks and hits as well as a couple of errors. Mustang looked to fight back after an Aubrea Sorrels two-out walk. Sorrels was able to come all the way around to third, but Mustang failed to capitalize on the opportunity. The Jaguars led 11-2 going into the last inning.
Mustang had one last push in the fifth and final inning. Jones led off the inning with a walk and later went on to score, cutting the deficit to 11-3. The Lady Broncos scored one more time, making it 11-4, but could not complete the comeback.
Westmoore was unable to complete the sweep, with Mustang taking the second game of the night with a gutsy performance by Jones in the circle. She went the distance, giving up just three runs.
The Broncos leave Howard’s first week of summer games with a lot to look forward to and still improve on after doubleheaders with Chickasaw and Westmoore this week.
“We definitely need to improve on our communication and playing with new teammates,” Sorrels said.
With the new coaching staff under Howard, Sorrels said this will be a summer of learning, but she is looking forward to it heading into the fall.
“It will take some time to get used to his style but he’s a genuine coach and knows what he’s doing,” she said. “I have no doubt he’s going to lead us to a state championship.”
Mustang opens up the regular season on Aug. 14 with a 6:30 first pitch at Putnam City West High School against the Patriots. The first home game of the Howard era comes on Aug. 19 with a 6:30 matchup against the Norman Tigers.