Guthrie softball making strides in the right direction
The Guthrie softball program has made monumental strides in the last two seasons under head coach Lee Linsenmeyer, including a top 10 ranking this season.
The 9th ranked Lady Jays (7-3, 3-1) hosted the 4th ranked Deer Creek Lady Antlers in a key district match-up Tuesday evening and gave them everything they wanted. However, Deer Creek scored both of their runs in the seventh inning with two outs for the 5-3 win.
Deer Creek (6-3, 2-0) is a program that is a 5A force and generally finds themselves playing in the final week of the season at the state tournament.
Something Guthrie now has goals of under the direction of Linsenmeyer.
The second year head coach is in the progress of turning the program around. The wins are coming, but more importantly his players are understanding the game and getting better with each game.
The next step in the progress is late innings execution and learning to win against the top teams in the state.
“We’re that close. We got to get over that hump in those last innings,” Linsenmeyer said after a lengthy team conversation down the left field line following the loss.
Along with the loss to Deer Creek, in which they allowed two runs in the seventh, the Lady Jays let a 4-0 lead get away last week in a loss to Mannford in late innings and on Monday allowed Shawnee get a little close for comfort with three runs in the seventh.
Linsenmeyer has lifted the bar with higher expectations. So high, his squad is now competing with the best in the district and in the class.
“We are getting there. Maybe a little a slower at times than I had hoped, but we are way above where we were at this point last year. I am going to keep pushing them because they have the ability to make that state tournament this year if they wont quit and stay after it,” Linsenmeyer said.
It’s all apart of building a program.
First change mind-set and attitude, learn how to win, expecting to win, and finally learning how to win those games against year in and year out good programs.
“What I want to see after this (Deer Creek loss) is we are not happy, not satisfied and that we are ticked off that we lost this game. We will say how we come out and practice tomorrow,” Linsenmeyer concluded.
The coach said he expects his players to respond because of their work dedication that have shown.
Perhaps, that is part of building a successful program as well.