ELGIN – A mix of seasoned veterans and young players should push the Lady Owls softball team to greater heights this season, head coach Levi Garrett said.
More pitching depth and greater team speed may also help Elgin improve on its 18-22 record from the 2021 season that ended with a regional tournament loss to eventual Class 4A state runner-up Tuttle.
“I expect a very competitive group that will grow as the season goes,” Garrett said. “I expect a lot from this group. Most of them have played a bunch of summer league games. We will compete at a higher level and get better each day.”
Elgin returns eight players who have starting experience, including five seniors, a junior and two sophomores.
Senior pitcher Jordon Johnson returns to the circle as the No. 1 hurler for the Lady Owls. Last season, Johnson pitched 170 innings. She’ll be joined by top-notch freshmen pitchers Dezirae Monoessy and Kamber Crow.
Johnson was also one of the top Elgin hitters last season with a .400 batting average followed by Jaemie Johns who hit .322. Other leading hitters are returning catcher Cora Holmgren who hit .329 and Mikayla Arnold at .309. Arnold was second in runs scored last season with 34.
Other freshmen joining the team are Kelby Carter and Ella Melton plus sophomore Braisley Wilson.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces and if they do well you’re going to hear a lot about them,” Garrett said. “The program is on the rise. We eventually want to compete for a district title, then compete for a regional title and win and move on to the state tournament.”
Elgin begins the season 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8 at Cache followed by another game Tuesday, Aug. 9 at Comanche. Elgin opens its home schedule Aug. 12 against Marlow followed by four more consecutive home games against Sterling (Aug. 15), Bridge Creek (Aug. 16), Newcastle (Aug. 22) and Chickasha (Aug. 23). All home and away games are set for 5 p.m.
Elgin’s schedule also includes the Southwest Shootout Tournament and two festivals at Lindsay and Chickasha.