The Chickasha High School softball team’s season is 31 games old, and it’s clear the Lady Chicks have a very good team.
Head coach Dennis Furr’s squad is 23-8, has already clinched its district, and is ranked in the top five in class 5A.
But, as the saying goes, good is the enemy of great, and if the Lady Chicks want a shot in the state tournament this fall, they’re going to have to learn how to get over the hump against the top teams, and, more specifically, the top pitchers in the state.
“We don’t expect to win against good teams, for whatever reason,” Furr said. “I don’t think it’s about being young. Usually, young kids will sometimes play fearless.”
That’s not to say Chickasha hasn’t earned some quality wins this season. But the Lady Chicks haven’t been able to overcome the dominant pitchers they’ve faced this season, with the most recent examples being shutout losses against Tuttle and Moore.
“It’s not necessarily that we haven’t beaten good teams, but they didn’t have good pitching,” Furr said. “But if they’ve got one in the circle that’s a stud, we get intimidated. We’ve won some games against teams that were better defensively and offensively, but we haven’t beaten one with a good pitcher.”
On Friday and Saturday in the Chickasha Tournament at the Chickasha Sports Complex, the Lady Chicks earned a 3-1 record. But in the grand scheme of things, that one loss may have been more meaningful than the three wins.
Chickasha lost 7-0 to the Lady Lions on Saturday, and Moore’s junior pitcher Jenna Lynn had a perfect game, striking out 15 Chickasha hitters. Helped out by errors and mistakes, Moore also scored six runs in the first two innings, and the game was out of reach early for Chickasha.
“That’s part of it,” Furr said of his batters striking out so often against Lynn. “When they have a dominating pitcher, that’s what happens. They get you out. But we’ve got to figure out how to grind it out and play defense. Just because they’ve got a good pitcher, that doesn’t mean we have to go make four or five errors.”
Furr said he expected Chickasha to have a high number of strikeouts, as that comes with the territory against a pitcher with as good a strikeout pitch as Lynn has. But he also said the Lady Chicks needed to make better choices about which pitches to swing at.
“We were taking strikes and swinging at balls,” Furr said. “She’s going to make you chase balls, but when she throws a ball down in the zone you can hit, you’ve got to swing at it. Against a pitcher like that, you want to be aggressive and swing the bat, but you’ve got to swing every time she throws a strike.”
Friday, Chickasha started the tournament with wins over Lawton High School and Stillwater High School. Against Stillwater, the Lady Chicks had to come from behind early to win 7-3.
“I was pretty proud of the second win,” Furr said. “We got behind 3-1 in the first inning and battled back. They didn’t really have dominating pitching and our bats came alive. It was a game you can feel good about.”
Chickasha won easily over Lawton, 6-0. In their second game Saturday, the Lady Chicks closed out the tournament with a 12-0 win over an overmatched Midwest City High School team, and the coaches agreed to call the game after just two innings.
The Lady Bombers have lost most of their games by double-digits this season, including several by 20 runs or more.
Chickasha played a double-header Monday at Capitol Hill High School, and its next game is scheduled for 5 p.m. today against Anadarko. It’s the final home game of the regular season, and will be Senior Night.