Lady Bronco softball enters new era under Howard

Coach Howard One

By Kyle Salomon,

As Mustang softball enters a new era with Bryan Howard as the new head coach of the program, they will do so with one of the best high school softball pitchers in the nation in the circle for MHS.
Senior hard-throwing right-hander Jayden Chestnut fanned 10 Yukon batters in just four innings of the first scrimmage of the year Monday at the Yukon Scrimmage Festival at the Yukon High School softball complex.
The Lady Broncos defeated the Lady Millers in the four-inning scrimmage 1-0, leaving seven runners on base in the contest. The Bronco girls then turned around and put an 8-2 spanking on Edmond Santa Fe directly following their victory over Yukon.
Howard said he was proud of the way the team opened the scrimmage season on Monday.
“Overall, it was a solid day for us,” he said. “You really can’t ask for much more on day one. We made a few mistakes here and there that we will correct, but I thought overall it was a good first day out here. We left too many runners on base in that first game, but we will get better.”
The scrimmage season will run through the end of this week, capped off by the annual Mustang Softball Alumni Game on Saturday night.
The Lady Broncos scrimmaged two more times on Tuesday in Yukon at the Yukon Scrimmage Festival. They then scrimmaged two more times on Wednesday at the Putnam City North Scrimmage Festival.
This morning, they scrimmage two more times at Putnam City North at 10:30 a.m. and noon. Then at 3 p.m they have their first home scrimmage against Southmoore. They conclude their scrimmage season at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Friday at home against El Reno and Tuttle.
The Alumni Game will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mustang High School softball complex, with the regular season officially starting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Putnam City West. The following day the Bronco girls will travel to Broken Arrow to compete in the BA Softball Tournament Aug. 15 and 16.
Howard said the point of the scrimmages is to develop chemistry and improve as a team before the season begins.
“We know we are going to make mistakes at this point in the year,” he said. “But we have to work hard and correct those mistakes so they don’t occur during the regular season and cost us games. That’s why we have to take care of them now.”
Howard isn’t the only new face to the Mustang High School softball team. Katelyn Fischer, Laci Jones and Kodi Jones were three key players to the success of Lady Broncos softball for the past four years, but they graduated in May and are playing in the college ranks.
The Bronco girls will rely on multi-year starters and seniors Chestnut and Caisey Jones to lead the way on and off the field this season.
Last year was a successful season for the Mustang softball team as the girls made it to the semifinal round of the state tournament before falling to Moore High School, but Howard said he’s looking forward to seeing what this team can accomplish.
“We have some young girls who will have to grow up quickly for us,” he said. “But we have some really good seniors who will be good leaders for us. I’m excited to see what we can do this year.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.