The fastpitch softball season was a positive one for the Ponca City Lady Wildcats, even though it did not end with a championship.
It was head coach Jeneva Nelson’s first season at the helm. After the way the team grew this season, she is excited about the future of the program and the direction it is headed.
“I believe this season was a turning point for this program,” Nelson said. “With a primarily young team that only had one senior we are going to be a force for years to come. We went 27-14 this year after a 10-27 season last year. It was an amazing turnaround. These girls worked hard, put in so much work, listened, and grew. With the girls we have returning this next season, I know we will do even more amazing things.”
The team also has a lot of hardware to show for its hard work and effort this season. They won the Bethany Classic and were the runner-up in the Cushing Tournament. According to Nelson, the team also had beaten some teams that they had not beaten in over twenty-two years.
There were also many individual awards for the team. Senior Savanna Clark was named All-Region Utility player and All-Conference corner Infielder. Bri Meyer, a sophomore, brought home District First Team Pitcher and Conference Pitcher of the Year awards. Coach Nelson was named District Coach of the Year. Audrey Varner (catcher), Madelyn Blackstar (middle infield), Camila Bohon (outfield), and Caitlin Cooper (utility) all were named to the All-Conference team. There were also numerous All-District and All-Conference honorable mentions.
The success that the team had this season is something that Nelson attributes to the hard work of each member of the team.
“We had a tough lineup from top to bottom and every spot on the field,” Nelson said. “Savannah Clark, our only senior, was our leadoff hitter. She was one of the leaders on our team, being the oldest and one of the smartest game-knowledge players we had, she was really a key player for us this year. Also, Bri Meyer was definitely our dynamite in the circle. She is a phenomenal pitcher with knowledge of the game that was unmatched.
“Ja’Kiya Colbert, a freshman, was our leading runner this year. She had the most steals and was unstoppable in the outfield. She saved us in more situations than anyone else, and her range, her arm, and her eye for the ball were tremendous. Caitlin Cooper was our top hitter. She led in batting average this year and won us games with her bat alone.”