NORMAN — When coach Stephanie Riley begins a season, she has the big picture in mind. For her Moore fastpitch team, that means making sure the players know what they are playing for before the season even begins.
“We are looking good for our 2013 season,” Riley said. “We began preparing for the state tournament on July 1st and everyday is a continuation and working toward the big game.”
However, the Lions haven’t captured a state title since 2007. They came close last year, but fell in the championship game to Edmond North.
Yet, MHS comes into the season with high expectations.
“This team has the potential to be very fun to watch,” Riley said. “We began practicing on the field on July 26th and I do not think there has been a day that we have not laughed about things happening on the field. We have a few characters that make coaching life very enjoyable.”
The Lions’ first game took place Friday in a contest that was supposed to be played at MHS. However, due to rains the night before, it was moved to Carl Albert.
Moore was back on the field Monday when it decimated Norman 16-1.
“Since last October, we have been working on the mental aspect of the game and learning to work through situations that seem impossible,” Riley said. “They began their practices on July 1 with two Crossfit coaches and our Women’s soccer coach. They were asked to do things that they didn’t think they could and they learned to persevere. It was amazing to see them grow as student-athletes in those four weeks of training.”
As the Lions go through the season, Riley will be looking to her upperclassmen to lead the team back to a championship level.
“Jenna Lynn, senior, will be at the center of our team,” Riley said. “She has worked really hard throughout the off-season to increase her pitching skills, as well as her mental approach to the game. Brittani Johnson, senior, and Demi Dobbs, junior, will share time behind the plate. Caitlin Hall, Sable Hankins, and Brianna McArthur will all hold key spots in our defense and our offense. The seniors have all shown great leadership skills and they continue to work harder every day.”