Softball season is in full swing and the Mustang Broncos are off to a solid start, especially in district play.
So far, coach Lacy Darity has been impressed with multiple facets of her squad, which now has eight wins, including three against Class 6A-1 opponents. The Broncos defeated Moore on Tuesday and picked up wins against Southmoore and Edmond Santa Fe last week.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good spot early and those were really big wins for us,” she said. “But we still have a long way to go. We still play those teams again and the rest of the district, but I like where we’re at. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing right now and keep improving.”
Mustang has wreaked havoc on opposing pitching of late, including 11 hits in a 5-4 win over the Lions. The Broncos cranked out three home runs – shots from junior Eden Anderson, freshman Lexy Kierstead, and senior Landry Garza.
Garza has been especially hot at the plate, primarily leading off while posting a .528 average with three bombs.
“She’s done a great job hitting when she’s not pitching and really taking on that role,” Darity said. “We’re hitting her at the top right now to get her as many at-bats as possible. With the way she’s going we want to give her plenty of opportunities to do something good for us.”
Anderson and Kierstead both went 2-for-3 against Moore, combining for three RBI. Darity likes what she has seen so far from the pair and is also excited about junior Arionna McElroy’s production near the top of the lineup. She went 1-for-3 in Tuesday’s win.
“Arionna is a threat anytime,” Darity said. “She has shown power and speed. Lexy has done a really good job near the top for us as well, especially for a young girl. Nothing has phased her to this point.
“Eden got off to a little bit of a slow start but has really come on as of late. She seems to be getting it done in clutch situations, too.”
Junior Fae Cornish is also off to a hot start, hitting .417 with a .517 on-base percentage. She went 1-for-2 on Tuesday. Juniors Emerson Pegram and Kenzie Sessions have also performed well. Pegrem went 1-for-2 against the Lions. Sessions had the night off but has been a mainstay near the top of the team’s order.
Seniors Logan Pickelsimer and Olivia See combined to go 2-for-5 in the win, including an RBI-double from Pickelsimer. Darity says both have been solid to start the season.
Senior Kiera McGahee delivers a pitch during Mustang’s 5-4 win over Moore on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, at Bronco Stadium. McGahee struck out five batters in the game. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane-Images)
Senior Kiera McGahee picked up the win on Tuesday, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. She struck out five hitters over seven innings to wrap up another solid outing. Darity feels safe handing the ball to either McGahee or Garza no matter the scenario.
“They’ve just been going out there and competing,” she said. “No game or situation has been too big. I especially like where they’re at from a mental standpoint with nothing seeming to bother them. They’ve also done a great job with Logan and staying on the same page.”
Darity has also been pleased with the Mustang’s defense through 12 games. She feels the team has settled down after early-season jitters.
“We’ve had a really good outfield rotation between Lexy, Arionna, Kenzie, and Olivia,” she said. “Same way in the infield. Reese (Poage) and Fae have done a really good job up the middle as well as Kenzie. They’re all starting to get more comfortable with the more games we play and have given us the ability to be interchangeable in spots.
“Logan has also done a great job behind the plate. I think she’s thrown out maybe one or two runners because people don’t really attempt to run on her that much. And for good reason, she’s been awesome back there.”
JUNIOR VARSITY SUCCESS
Darity was pleased with the team’s junior varsity after the squad nearly won the Cashion varsity tournament over the weekend. The Broncos reached the finals before falling to the host Wildcats for the championship.
“We are really proud of how they went and competed against quality varsity teams,” Darity said. “We got a lot of kids playing time and saw a lot of good things from several players. It’s a really good group and we’re excited to see them develop so when they move up to varsity, they’re ready to go.”
Junior Eden Anderson takes a cut during Mustang’s 5-4 win over Moore on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, at Bronco Stadium. Anderson went 2-for-3 at the plate with home run and two RBI. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane-Images)
The Broncos went 2-2 last weekend at the 2022 Southmoore Festival, with wins over Broken Arrow and losses to Westmoore and Lone Grove.
Mustang defeated Broken Arrow 4-1 behind a three-hit performance from McGahee. She struck out four over five innings in the win. Poage led the team with two hits, including a double. Garza, Kierstead, Pickelsimer and See drove in the team’s four runs.
The Broncos lost a 7-6 slugfest to Westmoore on Friday. Both teams combined for 22 hits, including a walk-off knock by the Jaguars. Garza led the way at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double while Sessions and McElroy each finished with two hits. Garza suffered the loss in the circle.
Mustang fell 7-6 to Class 4A Long Grove on Saturday with Garza again taking the loss. The senior went 2-for-3 at the plate however, while Kierstead and Poage each plated a run.
McGahee pitched a six-hit shutout against Deer Creek, lifting the Broncos to a 2-0 win on Saturday. She struck out six batters over seven innings with just one walk. Poage drove in both of Mustang’s runs, going 1-for-2. Pegram, McElroy, and Anderson all finished with one hit as well.
Mustang’s players gather around home plate to celebrate one of the team’s three home runs during its 5-4 win over Moore on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, at Bronco Stadium. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane-Images)