Ed Hargrove isn’t normally on the road in early June visiting players. The Cowley County softball coach is usually on campus waiting for his team to arrive for summer camp to begin.
But Hargrove made a special trip to Norman and was in the stands at the OU Softball Complex to watch several of his future Lady Tigers play in the Large Schools All-State game Saturday.
“I just felt like it was a means of support,” Hargrove said. “I wanted them to see me in the stands and their parents.”
Hargrove’s all-staters included Norman’s Caitlyn Cosme, Moore’s Stephanie Couser and Westmoore’s Melaney Anderson. In all, six players heading to Cowley were all-state representatives.
“We always recruit Oklahoma, but we’ve never had more than four or five Oklahoma kids at one time,” Hargrove said. “Some of them were all-state. But to get this big of a group of all-staters out of nine kids that we signed from Oklahoma, is a pretty good accomplishment, I think.”
However, Hargrove had to watch as his five players and their Large West squad fell to the East 4-1. It was the only downside of the day for Couser.
“It was pretty exciting and fun,” Couser said. “It was just great to be with all the girls. I was kind of hoping I would do a little bit better and get some hits and probably win. But we came out here to have fun, and that’s what we did.”
The East scored twice in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead.
Couser got the start in centerfield for the West. She came to the plate in the second inning with one runner on base but went down on strikes.
Anderson had even less success when she came to bat in the third inning. She grounded out to third base.
Cosme came in as a pitch runner in the fourth inning with the West trailing 4-0. She stole second base with one out. However, her team was unable to knock her home.
The West put a run on the board in the sixth. They had a chance to add more, but baserunning errors caused the inning to end at 4-1. The West was unable to put another scare into the East.
But for Anderson, who set a goal of making it to state when she was a freshman, being on the field with her future college teammates was a great experience for her.
“It was good getting to know everybody before we get to college,” Anderson said. “And actually playing with them was really good.”