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October 15, 2013

Stuart coaches look back at State

STUART — Neither the Stuart Hornets nor the Lady Hornets brought home a state title this fall, but both teams played well enough to at least have a chance.

For the first time in school history, both Stuart’s baseball and fast pitch softball teams made their respective Class B state tournaments over the weekend.

“We really have 30 kids and three coaches that are up there at the state tournament,” softball coach Chance Chapman said Tuesday. “When you look at it, our high school’s not that big, so when you have 30 kids going, that’s a big accomplishment.”

The Lady Hornets made it a game farther than their male counterparts. Stuart beat Caney 4-3 in the quarter-finals Thursday at the Ball Fields at Firelake in Shawnee, then lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Red Oak, 5-1.

“We had a bad inning where let them have about three runs, or it’s a 2-1 ballgame,” Chapman said of the semifinal.

“The deal with Red Oak is, they’re different from about anybody you’re going to play there, because Red Oak has been there and they’ve done that. It seems like every year, their shot is to go win it, when somebody else, realistically, might say, ‘Your shot is to get there and compete.’”

The Hornets lost in the quarter-finals Thursday at Edmond North, falling 8-0 to Class B runner-up Leedey. Both coaches said their teams felt a mix of pride and disappointment after their final game, and baseball coach Jon Booth said his Hornets probably played their best in their state-qualifier against Moss at Regionals last week.

“It was the best offensive performance of the year,” Booth said of the Moss game. “Everybody got on base at least once, everybody got a hit or scored a run, we got a two-run home run out of the eight-hole (hitter), Justin Lawrence.”

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