By Andrew Glover
RED ROCK, Okla. —
It was the top of the seventh inning and the Frontier Lady Mustangs were already trailing 3-1 to the Perry Lady Maroons. The Mustangs ultimately lost the game 7-1 but they also lost their star player Jalissa Gum, who took a line drive off her hand. Frontier would have to give the ball to freshman Michael Ann Nelson.
The Lady Mustangs got to watch their freshman grow up in front of them as Nelson helped lead Frontier back to the state tournament.
“She did amazing things as a freshman pitcher,” Frontier coach Erron Kauk said. “She has nothing to hang her head about.”
Nelson said it was shocking to see Gum go down but knew she had to help the team.
“I didn’t know if I could do it,” Nelson said. “My teammates didn’t know if I could do it or not. I tried my hardest.”
In regionals, Nelson was unhittable as she recorded three shutouts including a perfect game in the opener. Nelson said it was fun getting to pitch in the postseason.
“It was exciting,” Nelson said. “I worked really hard and the team worked hard.
Kauk said his confidence in Nelson has grown significantly.
“It’s a ton better,” Kauk said. “She got better every game. Even though she’s young she didn’t get rattled. It’s tough to keep nerves in check.
Nelson said she enjoyed getting to pitch.
“I enjoy pitching for my team,” Nelson said. “The coaches make it fun to play.”
Jayde Hansen, Perry softball
Tabitha Diaz, Perry softball
Jalissa Gum, Frontier softball
Gage Stallworth, Cushing football
Bingham Hightower, Cushing football