AMBER — Despite being in a new class, the Amber-Pocasset Lady Panthers find themselves in familiar territory.
Am-Po ran through the regional tournament in Amber last week to advance to the Class 2A state tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday in Shawnee. The Lady Panthers went 3-0 in the tournament, defeating Texhoma-Goodwell twice and Hartshorne once to advance to the state tournament.
Am-Po earned the opportunity to host a regional tournament by going 13-1 in district play and owning the tiebreaker over a Minco team that also went 13-1 in district play.
Am-Po survived a tough game against Texhoma in its opener but pitched back-to-back shutouts in the final two games. The Lady Panthers scored double-digit runs in all three of their games.
The Lady Panthers moved to within one win of the state tournament by defeating Hartshorne in their second game of the tournament. Jacie White homered in the victory.
Texhoma defeated Crescent and Hartshorne to set up a Friday rematch between the two teams, and the Lady Panthers advanced with a 12-0 run-rule victory.
Caton Muncy got the Lady Panthers on the board with a sacrifice fly in the top half of the first inning.
It was the third inning when Am-Po was able to pull away.
Baylee Haugland hit the ball in the third and plated two runs to give Am-Po a 3-0 lead. Maddie Boswell’s triple scored two more runs to make the score 5-0. Am-Po scored four more runs in the inning and led 9-0 heading to the fourth.
Am-Po’s final three runs of the game came in the fourth inning.
The Lady Panthers are looking to win a state championship for the second season in a row after defeating Ripley in the Class A state championship game last season.
Am-Po, Chickasha and Tuttle have combined to win six state championships since 2014. Chickasha won titles in 2014 and 2015 in Class 5A and Class 4A. Tuttle has won the last three state titles in Class 4A.
The Lady Panthers have been to the fall state tournament three seasons in a row and have been to five state tournaments in a row when counting the spring.