Broncos punch ticket to 6A State Tournament, outscore Lawton Ike, Tahlequah 53-6 in three-game regional title run

Slow Pitch Softball, Slow Pitch Softball, Softball, Spring Sports

Trey Hunter

April 24, 2024
The Mustang Broncos pose for a photo after winning a regional title and punching their ticket to the 2024 Class 6A State Tournament on Tuesday. The Broncos defeated Lawton Ike and Tahlequah by a combined score of 53-6 across three games. (Photo by Trey Hunter)

As home run after home run soared across Dowden Drive on Tuesday, there was little doubt the Mustang Broncos would be returning to USA Hall of Fame Stadium to defend their state championship crown.

After crushing 21 bombs and defeating Lawton Eisenhower and Tahlequah by a combined score of 53-6 across three games, the fourth-ranked Broncos once again punched their ticket to the Class 6A State Tournament.

“It’s super exciting,” said senior pitcher Emerson Pegram, who not only contributes to the team’s prolific lineup, but has also worked as the go-to starter over the last four seasons.

“That’s the first ticket you have to get to even get there, so it’s really exciting to mark that off the list so we can get on to bigger and better things.”

Mustang (34-3) needed just two and ½ innings to dust Lawton Ike, scoring 22 runs in the bottom of the first and four in the second in a 26-3 win.

Eden Anderson (Sr.), Kenzie Sessions (Sr.), Nyli Brown (Jr.), and Rylann Beeson (So.) all homered and combined for 13 RBI.

Amelia Mason (Jr.), Madeline Rush (Jr.), Natalia Delgado (Jr.), Rylee Hannon (Sr.), and Shaye Rowe (Sr.) all doubled while Arionna McElroy (Sr.) finished with a triple.

Pegram and Riannah Lantz (So.) combined for three innings in the circle, allowing just one walk and four hits.

The Broncos clinched the regional title with back-to-back wins over the No. 12 Tigers (16-20).

Brown hammered two dingers while Abigail Keele (So.), Reese Poage (So.), McElroy, Anderson, Pegram, and Sessions all homered once in an 11-2 victory in Game 1. McElroy and Brown also doubled once.

McElory, who elected to play slow pitch for the first time this season as a senior, followed with three bombs while Lexy Kierstead (So.), Anderson, and Poage each hit two in a 16-1 run-rule win in Game 2.

“This is really, really fun,” McElroy said following the tournament. “This is such a fun sport to learn because it’s different. It took a little getting used to, but I think I figured it out pretty quickly.”

McElroy is signed to play for McNeese State University in college but says these last few games have been extra special for her and her senior teammates.

Emerson Pegram (Sr.) delivers a pitch during a game earlier this season at the Mustang Softball Complex. Pegram helped guide the Broncos to three wins in the regional tournament on April 23 and a spot in the Class 6A State Tournament. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)

“It has been a little emotional because we’ve been here for four years and have gone through a lot together,” she said. “I’m definitely going to soak it in at state.”

Mustang won 17 straight games to cap the regular season. The team’s only losses came to No. 1 Choctaw and No. 2 Southmoore early in the season and then to No. 5 Moore on April 4.

After going undefeated against Class 6A opponents during their title run last season, Pegram says they knew they would have a target on their back this spring.

Arionna McElroy (Sr.) drives a pitch to the outfield during a game earlier this season at the Mustang Softball Complex. McElroy helped lead the Broncos to three wins in the regional tournament on Tuesday and a spot in the Class 6A State Tournament next week. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)

“Absolutely,” she said. “It was one of those things where we knew everyone in general, not just the 6A teams, wanted a piece of us and wanted blood. We knew we’d be getting the best from other teams, and I think we did a great job of handling that and accepting it.”

Mustang coach Lacy Darity also knew what to expect coming into the season.

“That was something we talked a lot about. We knew we would be getting everybody’s best shot because we were the team with the title and that’s exactly what happened. We took some shots early, but after spring break we started to put it together and focus a little more.”

Darity’s squads are all too familiar with postseason play as the Broncos now make their 15th state tournament appearance in slow pitch and fast pitch combined over the last four years. She sees the team’s experience as a big advantage going into Tuesday.

“I think it’s huge to have that experience and be one of the team’s that has consistently made it to this point,” she said. “We didn’t lose anybody from last year and we added a couple of really good, experienced players.

“We just have to take care of business, stay even keeled, and allow our experience and talent to carry us.”

Published by trey hunter

Trey Hunter is the owner and publisher of the Mustang Sports Review. He graduated from Mustang High School in 2006 before graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma with a journalism degree in 2011. He has covered Mustang sports for multiple publications as well as high school sports and professional basketball for other outlets. Contact Trey for story ideas or reach out with information. PHONE: (405) 659-9898 EMAIL:

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