PRYOR, OK —
The fate of the 2013 Pryor fast-pitch season could be decided Thursday as the Tigerettes enter the postseason fray at Carl Albert High School.
Pryor (17-12) will need some breaks to go its way to advance to the state tournament next weekend, as the regional bracket is home to fellow 5A-3 foe East Central (3-16), Guthrie (16-14) and District 5A-4 heavyweight Carl Albert (28-1).
The host Lady Titans are favored to win the state championship for the fifth time in eight seasons, and are a much less forgiving foe than the Tigerettes thought they would be facing originally.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) published its regional brackets Tuesday, Oct. 1, pitting Pryor in the eighth regional in Shawnee. The Lady Wolves finished just 14-15 overall but mustered a 10-4 district record for second place and the right to host a regional. Grove (8-26) and Bishop Kelley (5-12) were the other teams in the regional, meaning Pryor would likely have been the de facto favorite.
However, Skiatook and Collinsville had yet to play their final district game when the initial bracket was published. Collinsville won, meaning the Tigerettes and Lady Cards finished with an identical 8-6 record. Collinsville's 2-0 head-to-head record against Pryor gave it the third-place finish and forced Pryor to travel to Carl Albert instead of Shawnee for its regional. The updated bracket was published on OSSAA.com the next day, though the Tigerettes and their fans had already booked hotel rooms in Shawnee.
The scheduling snafu has plenty of Pryorites up in arms, but no matter who they play, the Tigerettes still need at least three wins (and possibly more) to return to the state tournament.
Pryor will open at 2 p.m. Thursday against Guthrie. Carl Albert and East Central will play the early game at noon. The losers of the first two contests will play in the regional's first elimination game, Game 3, at 4 p.m. The winners will tangle at 6 p.m in Game 4.
The winner of Game 3 and loser of Game 4 will meet Friday at noon in another elimination game, Game 5. The winner of Game 5 will oppose the winner of Game 4 in the first of two potential elimination games beginning at 2 p.m.