Stillwater News Press

Sports

October 3, 2012

Perry, Frontier prepare for state tournament in Oklahoma City

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Perry Lady Maroons are still waiting to find out their first state matchup in school history but are excited to be playing in Oklahoma City for the Class 3A state championship.

“Just to be in the complex and play against talent we should do well against, should be exciting,” coach Bryan Hayes said.

The state tournaments are being played at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City from Thursday through Saturday. To prepare, Perry played Cushing in a warm-up game. Hayes said it’s been a little frustrating not knowing all the details.

“It’s hard to make plans,” Hayes said. “We don’t know when we are getting the girls out of school. The school is planning to have a pep rally for us before we leave but we haven’t been able to plan that because we don’t know.”

Though he doesn’t know who or when his girls will lineup Thursday, Hayes said he’s confident about his team’s placement in the bracket.

“We should be a least a second seed,” Hayes said. “Depending on the results of the other regionals, we could be the top seed.”

Late Tuesday night, the Oklahoma School Sports Association released the 3A brackets. Perry plays Valliant, who is ranked 11th at 5 p.m. Thursday on Field 4.

Hayes said he hopes his team plays well.

“The girls have earned it,” Hayes said. “A 35-4 record is a consistent showing. It’s stressful because it leaves a target on our backs. I just hope we finish like we are a top team.”

It won’t be a day in the park for the sixth-ranked Class B Frontier Lady Mustangs as they open the state tournament Thursday against fourth-ranked Fort Cobb-Broxton at 3 p.m. at Field 3.

“When you get to this point, there are no easy games,” coach Erron Kauk said. “Everyone had to earn their spot here. We think we can compete with any team here and I feel good about our chances.”

Playing against tough competition isn’t foreign for the Lady Mustangs as they’ve played 12 games against teams ranked in the top 20. Frontier also played against schools bigger than it with only nine games against Class B schools — six of those in the district and regional tournaments.

“I think we played a tougher schedule than anyone at the state tournament,” Kauk said. “We are going to come in with nine or 10 losses. We will already be battle tested.”

If Frontier wins Thursday it could face Red Oak, the top ranked team in Class B, 2 p.m. Friday in the state semifinals. Kauk said his team will need to play well offensively and defensively.

“(Pitcher) Michael-Ann (Nelson) has to hit her spots. We got to execute behind her. We have to get down bunts. In the close games that we came out with a win we were able to bunt and move runners over.”

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