The Moore American

June 12, 2013

Top players glad to be back

By Michael Kinney
The Moore American

NORMAN — The final score didn’t tell the whole story for Braden Bradshaw. Playing in the All-State fastpitch game Saturday, her West squad lost 9-0 to the East. As a team they accounted for only three hits in nine innings.

However, for Bradshaw, just getting back on the field was the biggest achievement for the Southmoore senior.

“It was actually pretty nice,” Bradshaw said. “Being able to go back to normal, play softball, it gets your mind off of everything that’s been going on. Everybody’s lives are so stressed out with losses, so you get back to playing softball, this makes me happy.”

Bradshaw was one of four area athletes to play in the game for the West. The team included Westmoore’s Mariah Peace and the Moore duo of Caitlyn Hall and Hannah Lynch.

None of the players had a particularly strong game at the plate. But they still found a way to enjoy themselves.

“It went all right,” Peace said. “We had fun. We had fun in our last game. That’s what matters.”

Bradshaw, who has signed to play at Seminole State, had to first overcome her nerves before she could completely enjoy the moment and playing at the University of Oklahoma’s Marita Hynes Field.

“I was extremely, extremely nervous,” Bradshaw said. “I was shaking. I am normally not like that. It’s been five months since I played fastptch since we’ve been in the slowpitch itch season. I was like ‘I hope I don’t suck.’ I have a lot of coaches, especially my college coach who has never seen me play before. She said I have heard so many great things about you. I am excited for you to come to our school. I have to live up to what’s she’s heard.”

But more than anything, Bradshaw was just happy to be playing softball for a couple of hours and to have to think about the devastation her city has gone though and the long recovery ahead.

“I was stressed out,” Bradshaw said. “I was very overwhelmed. I had a lot of friends who lost family members and houses. I hurt for them because I can’t imagine what that’s like. This gets my mind off everything that has been going on.”

Both Peace and Bradshaw still have one more game left before their high school careers are done. They will be competing Saturday in the All-State Slow pitch game at Marita Hynes Field.

“Next weekend it will hit me,” said peace, who has singed with Arkansas Tech. “I think I will have fun. I had hoped I get it when I was freshman, once I learned what it was. But I learned it was just for seniors. So I said I was going to get all-state my senior year, and I did.”