Written by: Joshua Morrison and Mackinzie DeLong
UNION CITY SOFTBALL 2020 RECAP
Although the season was short, The Lady Tigers made history. The team record this season was 7-2. The Lady Tigers were ranked 14th with one #1 vote, which is the highest in school history. Senior, Allison Kaulaity led the team in hits and in runs batted in. Senior, Chelsea Morgan led the team in defense with 48 total outs. The girls were really looking forward to this season, now they are trying to stay positive and look at the good in this terrible situation.
The Lady Tigers offense was a force to be reckoned with. They scored over 10 runs a game in 6 of their 9 games. Seniors Allison, Chelsea and Arin Karbs led the team in averages with all of them hitting above .460. Arin Karbs learned a new position and flourished. “She was a very reliable pitcher,” Coach Schmidt stated. Karbs also led the team in doubles with 7. The Lady Tigers outfield included two girls who had started since their freshmen year, Kaulaity and Brionah O’Neal. O’Neal was not afraid to go full out dive on any play. Schmidt added, “We had one of the best defensive outfield groups in small school.” Their speed and ability to track down a ball was very important in the Lady Tigers seven victories. The infield was made up of 4 seniors who also h
ave either started or seen playing time on the high school team since their freshmen season. Kenadee Belcher made some incredible diving plays at the Dibble Festival, which most likely saved the game. Chelsea Morgan made tough plays look routine and Erica Rodgers’ leadership and toughness behind the dish made for an incredible infield. The right side of the infield was made up of the sure-handed freshmen DeLong crew, Kinzie and Kenna.
“My favorite memory was AL’s walkoff grand slam that led us to take the win against Riverside, Kylie throwing the runner out at third, Kinzie doing the splits, and staying in Enid for the Ringwood Tournament.” stated Junior Emily Loughridge. Senior Kenadee Belcher said “I’m thankful to have gotten to play at Union for the time that I did. It stinks that things had to end this way. I hope everyone watches out because this was just the beginning of UC softball and there is much more to come!” As some of you know Allison Kaulaity signed to play college ball, and this is what she had to say: “Softball has been a big part of my life. I never saw myself playing beyond high school, but I signed with Haskell Indian Nations University to play softball. I am excited to be able to go beyond high school with sports.” All of the 2020 seniors will be missed, and this season will definitely be one to remember.
Coach Schmidt stated, “We will miss these 6 seniors but are very thankful for the hard work they have put in these past 4-5 years. They changed the way people look at softball in our small town, and that is not going to change. They set goals as freshmen and sophomores to go to and win a state championship. I think after 9 games, everyone realized that it could really happen. The amount of work they put in to reach that goal never went unnoticed. This team will definitely go down in the history books and should. It is a season and group I will never forget.”
Come back next fall to watch our Lady Tigers start their second year of fastpitch softball.
UNION CITY BASEBALL 2020 RECAP
The Union City Tigers started this season with high hopes; however, like many other teams across the nation, they did not get the season they wanted. The Tigers ended the season with a record of 3-3. Right before the season was cut short, the boys in blue were turning in the right direction and started to play good ball. Coach Griggs was asked his thoughts on the season, “Baseball was just starting to feel pretty good for the team. We got a few games in and started to learn their roles. We had some good and bad moments, but I felt we were starting to turn the corner for a pretty good streak of good baseball.” It was clear that his team followed his train of thought because juniors, Tyler Ross and Josh Morrison, led the team in batting average with .500 and .429. Ross, Morrison, and freshman Braydon Armstrong led the team in RBIs with 5,4 and 4. On the mound senior Caleb Reid led the team with a 2.6 ERA and struck out 19 batters. Junior Lane Casey led the team defensively with 0 errors this season and sophomore Caleb McSpadden led the team with 4 stolen bases.
One of the more memorable moments from this year include: beating Southwest Covenant in a close game with a score of 3-1. Senior Bryson Hays stated, “Playing baseball at Union City was one of the best times of my life. I have gained so many memories and life long friends, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I just wish it never had to end. Thank you Union City and thank you to everyone (especially my teammates) who pushed me to be the person I am today.”
Although the players felt the pain of cutting their season short, their coach Ludy Griggs, is losing out on another great season of coaching his boys. Griggs has known some of these seniors since they were in elementary and is saddened knowing they will never get to finish their last year of high school ball. Griggs commented, “My heart really goes out to my seniors. There is no way anyone wanted their season to end, let alone their baseball playing days. I wish it could have been a better outcome.” As you can tell this over the weeks of playing and coaching together, they have formed a close bond.