Dewey finishes 3rd in tournament; CV in competition

After guiding the Dewey High softball team to a 31-3 record and a berth in the state semifinals, Niki Keck has earned his stripes as one of the most successful head coaches in the league. history of the Lady Dogger diamond.

But, his work with the 2022 squad – which stood at 13-15 this week – might be his best coaching performance.

From an 0-9 start, Dewey is 13-6 in the last 19 games and is just one win away from qualifying for the Class 3A regionals.

Dewey’s players made their coach particularly handsome over the weekend, winning three straight to grab third place in the grueling Oklahoma Union High School tournament.

In the third-place win over Chelsea, 6-5, Kyla Overton slammed a two-run homer for Dewey.

That performance in the OUHS Tournament took Dewey’s record to 11-3 in September and 10-1 in the last 11 games.

If Dewey were to split his two-game series this week against Kiefer, it would lock the No. 3 seed in the district and avoid a playoff.

It was an impressive U-turn for the young Lady Doggers, many of whom had to grow up fast in the crackling flames of merciless competition.

Keck had graduated six seniors from last year’s historic team — each of them a valuable starter — including his starting pitcher.

Dewey watchers knew this year’s team would have to be soaked in the heat of gelling challenges.

But, probably no one imagined an 0-9 start.

Three weeks later, it’s a different story.

“We got it,” Keck said. “It’s a group that works as a team.”

Overton’s growth as a competitive college pitcher “has been tremendous,” Keck said.

Overton had to mature faster than expected due to the unavailability of Reagan White to share pitching duties.

White — a returning veteran — was limited in his pitching duties but still contributed offensively, Keck noted.

Dewey also relied on the leadership of his two seniors, Katie Wright and Taelynn Maddox.

Both have made great contributions offensively or with the glove, Keck noted.

By forging team chemistry in the cauldron of adversity, the best may be yet to come for Dewey.

Here are the summaries of last weekend’s regional contests.

——

PAWHUSKA 6, DEWEY 2: Pawhuska needed a 6-run inning to end Dewey’s seven-game winning streak. Overton doubled and drove into a Dewey race. Kirsten Kay also posted a tally from Lady Dogger. Overton went a full game to six hits. Harper homered for Pawhuska.

——

DEWEY 2, TRADE 1: Chanley Herren led Maycee Smith – after three-folding – and Overton tackled Herren for Dewey runs. Neither team scored after the first inning. Overton got the pitching victory on two hits. She took out two. Ragsdale launched for Commerce.

——

DEWEY 11, BROKEN ARROW JAYVEE 2: Dewey muscled in for 10 runs in the first inning, including Overton’s three-run homer. White had three hits and three RBIs. Addie Dugger and Smith stole two bases and Emma Holland sacrificed herself. Overton threw another two hitters.

——

DEWEY 6, CHELSEA 5: Dewey scored three times in the final inning. Herren reached on an error to set up Overton’s two-run homer. Smith scored earlier in the inning. Smith had two RBIs and three hits. Overton threw a three-hitter, with a walk and three Ks.

——

HOMINY 8, CANEY VALLEY 1: Kensly Foreman hit a solo homer to help Caney Valley avoid the shutout. Addi Lakey chose twice. Mackenzie McCabe pitched for Caney Valley, which is 11-15 this season.

Comments are closed.