By Jeff Harrison
OKLAHOMA CITY – While many sporting events have been canceled or postponed, a few local softball standouts got a taste of normalcy.
Carl Albert’s Zadie LaValley, Aaliyah Brown and Hannah Williams, and Choctaw’s Tiffany Paul joined the top players in the state for the Oklahoma High School Fastpitch Coaches Association All-State Game last Saturday at Oklahoma Christian University.
The annual all-state game was a little different than usual. The stadium was closed to the public but fans were allowed to watch the game from a grass hill behind the outfield wall.
The girls helped the Large West team rally for a 12-6 win in the all-star game.
After trailing much of the game, the West scored six runs in the top of the eighth. Paul scored the tying run and Westmoore’s Whitney Walde pushed the West in front with a two-run double. LaValley also scored in the inning.
LaValley started the game at catcher. She reached base once and scored a run in three at-bats. The Baylor signee said it felt good to represent Carl Albert one more time.
“It was kind of wild not being able to play with fans in the stands, but I had fun,” she said. “It was a different environment but playing with other girls.”
Brown played third base and drew a walk in the game. She will continue her softball career on the same field as Saturday after signing with Oklahoma Christian University.
“Today felt a little bittersweet with the coronavirus and not being able to finish our senior year, but it was a lot of fun playing with these girls today,” she said. “I’ve played against and with a lot of these girls here. We all come from different backgrounds, but we’re all here having fun doing what we love.”
Paul started at centerfield and had a big game at the plate, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored. In the sixth, Paul drove in a run to cut the East’s lead to a run at 6-5. Then in the seventh, Westmoore’s Hannah Harrison hit a leadoff double and Paul was called in as a pinch runner. Paul later scored to tie the game 6-6.
“I was pretty excited to play with all these girls one more time,” she said.
Paul signed with Oklahoma City University.
Williams pitched three innings of relief for the West and played one inning at first base. The East Central University signee also cherished the opportunity to share all-state experience with her teammates and friends.
“This has been a weird year and I was kind of relieved to get back out there with these girls,” she said. “Some of the girls I’ve known for 10 years so.”