By Andrew Glover
MORRISON, Okla. —
Morrison junior Jacey Bales couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the softball season. She threw a no-hitter against Coyle on Aug. 13 and 10 of the 12 outs were by strikeouts.
“For it being the first one of my career it was really exciting,” Bales said. “It might not have been against a very good team. In high school it’s still an accomplishment. It was really exciting to say that it was something you did in your high school career.”
In her second start, she only allowed one run in a 1-0 loss to Ripley on Aug. 15. Bales said pitcher’s duels are tough because she feels like the game is on her.
“It’s very stressful when it comes down to a pitcher’s duel,” Bales said. “You got to make sure your pitching is good and hope for the best.”
Bales said the Lady Wildcats have improved defensively and really likes how they’ve played.
“It’s a lot different,” Bales said. “In past years we haven’t (kept opponents from scoring). It’s something to work toward. I think we are all happy to hold teams down.”
Coach Tim Hatter said having a pitcher like Bales is very valuable to the team.
“Any time you can (play good defense), one run will win a ball game,” Hatter said. “It kind of relaxes us at the plate.”
Bales’ interest in sports didn’t just start a couple years ago when she stepped foot on the campus of Morrison High School — it began much earlier. The junior’s dad, Cory, is the head football coach and athletic director at the high school. So most of her life has been on a sports field.
“I was around all the football state championship teams, the teams that went to state in slow-pitch and basketball when he used to coach it,” Bales said. “I’ve been around it all.”
Besides softball, Bales also plays basketball. The junior said her parents were a key influence in her participating in sports.
“My parents kind of made me do it,” Bales said. “I’ve ended up loving every single sport.”
Hannah Burkett, Pawnee, softball
J.K. Hadlock, Glencoe, baseball
Houston Twoguns, Ripley baseball