By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Softball pitchers deal with a lot of adversity on the field. Like quarterbacks in football, pitchers are usually held responsible for wins and losses. What Carney sophomore Shelby Hover had to deal with last May tops anything she faced on the field.
“The tornado lifted the roof off our house and put back down on top of it,” Hover said. “We had two trees fall on our house. It did something to the wires which caused an electric fire and our house burned down.”
Hover’s home was one of many destroyed in the May 19 tornado that killed at least 26 people and injured several others. Hover said it was tough dealing with the home she grew up in — gone.
“It’s hard to think all the memories I built up in that house are gone,” Hover said. “It’s hard but I’m glad I still have my family.”
When Hover was in a tough situation in the pitching circle, it seemed like a piece of cake compared to what she suffered in May.
“It makes (adversity in softball) seem like no big deal,” Hover said.
In her sophomore year, Hover played a huge part in helping the Lady Bulldogs earn a berth in the Class B regional tournament — She went 16-9 and struck out 125 batters.
“I’ve been playing softball since I was 8-years-old,” Hover said. “I wanted to take our team somewhere. They had one district championship in five years. I didn’t want to just get to district, I wanted to win it. Next year, I hope we can make state.”
Carney was beat out by Bowlegs and New Lima but that didn’t detract from a season that the Lady Bulldogs were ranked in the Top 20 most of the year. Hover thought it was a great season for her team especially when most games they had just enough to fill out a lineup card.
“We did good especially with the few players we had and the little experience some of them had,” Hover said.
Coach Lindsey Freeman said Hover had a lot of respect from her teammates.
“She just went out there and threw strikes,” he said.
During those games, Freeman had struggles or had to pitch out of tough spots, what got her through was support.
“Coach would go out there and tell me I could do it,” Freeman said. “My mom did our books she would encourage me. The support is great, I think about the players that don’t have any. I don’t know what I would do without it.”
Hover and her family are still recovering from the tornado, as they live in a fifth wheel, where their house once stood.
Jeri Adkism, Perkins-Tryon, Sr., SS
Kaytlyn Briegge, Perry, Sr., C
Hannah Burkett, Pawnee, Jr., P
Tabithia Diaz, Perry, Sr. 1B
Marissa Goodman, Frontier, Sr., 1B
Shelby Hover, Carney, So., P
McKenzie Martin, Perkins-Tryon, Sr. 3B
Mykelti Shelton, Perkins-Tryon, Sr., P
Tristyn Short, Cushing, Sr., 2B
Amber Austin, Agra, Jr., P
Christa Axtell, Ripley, Sr. 1B/OF
Caitlin Bailey, Carney, Sr., INF
Holli Bailey, Carney, Sr., DH
Jacey Bales, Morrison, Jr., P
Skyler Brunt, Ripley, Sr., P
Shelby Jennings, Coyle, So., P
Kallie Jerome, Mulhall-Orlando, Sr.
Wisper Lefthand, Ripley, Sr., SS
Morgan McGrew, Cushing, Jr., C
Whitney Meeks, Ripley, Sr., 3B
Jessica Niccum, Cushing, Sr., CF
Alicia Place, Glencoe, Fr., P
Carlie Roe, Glencoe, Jr., C
McKinsey Stokes, Stillwater, Sr., OF
Amber Terrell, Carney, Jr. OF
Kaile Vernon, Morrison, Sr., C
Tayler Williams, Morrison, Sr., 3B
Thristian Young, Frontier, So., SS