By Joey McWilliams
The Durant Lady Lions have become regulars in the eight-team field of the Class 5A fast-pitch softball state tournament, and made their forth consecutive trip to OKC this week.
But the team has not yet taken home the championship trophy. And unfortunately for the Lady Lions, it won’t happen in 2017, either.
Durant fell, 4-2, to Woodward in the state quarterfinal on Thursday evening.
Head coach Cody Little, who just completed his first season at the helm, said the Lady Boomers just came out and competed hard.
“The bottom of their lineup got ahead in the count and got some fastball counts and got some fastballs and shot them all the way to right field,” Little said. “They really didn’t get any extra-base hits – a lot of singles with a couple of walks mixed in.
“They were able to scratch more runs, really all off singles. That was kind of the difference. They were able to scratch two base hits with people on base and we didn’t.”
Durant went unscathed through District 5A-4 in the regular season, winning the district with a 12-0 record. The Lady Lions hosted their own regional and dispatched Claremore twice to advance to state in the playoffs.
Little said this year’s trip to the state tournament was unexpected from those outside the program.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” Little said. “They worked so hard to get back to this point. And there were a lot of people before the season even started that had counted them out, as far as getting back (to state) again.
“You know, graduating four seniors, they were saying, ‘This isn’t going to happen. This can’t be the same. This group of kids that has never done it before can’t get the job done.’ And they came out and proved people wrong.
“I’m immensely proud of everything they did and everything they brought to the table to get to this point.”
Durant closed the season with a record of 29-9 and as state qualifiers.