The Norman Transcript

April 30, 2013

North ready for familiar playoff field

By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Baseball regional pairings are out, and for Norman North, which is hosting its first in two years, it will be a field full of familiar opponents.

The T-Wolves have played games against all three schools in the region, posting a combined record of 3-1 against those squads. North owns a victory over Lawton Eisenhower, its first-round opponents, as well as a pair of wins against Southmoore. The T-Wolves did lose to Midwest City in a 4-2 contest on March 15.

North will meet Eisenhower at 1 p.m. on Thursday and will face either the winner or the loser of the other two teams, at 3 p.m. Thursday with a win or 5 p.m. with a loss. The regional format is a true double elimination format, so a loss in the first game doesn’t end a team’s hopes of a regional title and a berth at state.

“The goal is not just to host a regional, it’s to win a state championship,” coach Brian Aylor said. “These guys are focused and they want to leave a mark. The teams in our regional are good and we know it will be a challenge.

NHS will go on the road for the postseason, traveling to Yukon for an 11 a.m. game Thursday against the 28-6 Millers. Also in the region are Moore and Edmond Memorial. The Tigers haven’t squared off against Yukon this year, and they lost a pair to Edmond Memorial and won the only contest against Moore.

“We’ve put ourselves into the position we’re as far as the draw goes,” coach Pete Sangirardi said. “That’s why we have districts, and we know what we’re going into.”

Tiger offense struggling: Sangirardi, whose team has been struggling with injuries late in the season, said the Tigers must find some offense heading into the regional tournament.

NHS failed to score a run in its last outing against Putnam City North, and outside of a two-game series against lowly Putnam City West, the Tigers have struggled to find consistency at the plate. While much of that can be contributed to the ever-changing lineup necessitated by the injuries, it’s something Sangirardi knows must be cleaned up if the Tigers want to advance past the weekend.

“We’ve been playing well at times, but we’re having trouble hitting,” he said. “So we need to keep playing like we have, but the sticks need to show up a little bit more.”

North quarterback named to prospect list: Norman North quarterback David Cornwell, who will find out this week if he will be cleared by the OSSAA to play next season, was named to the ESPN150 list of the country’s top 2014 prospects.

Cornwell, who has offers from Oklahoma State, Alabama, Auburn and others, was ranked as the 24th best prospect from the class.

State track record could fall: When Norman North’s Haley Woodard takes to the track for the 400-meter dash at regionals this week, she may be chasing more than just a victory.

Woodard ran her best time of the season, a 55.68, at last weeks’ Mid-State conference meet. And along with Shaquan Burris of Edmond Memorial, who has run 57.07 this season and has been Woodard’s toughest competition, the sophomore has her eyes on the state record time of 54.89.

“One of us, either me or her, could be liable to get the record,” Woodard said. “Right now I’m just trying to improve my form and work on that to get better.”

Corbin Hosler

Follow me @Chosler88

chosler@normantranscript.com

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.