Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Panama, Wister heading to state

Congratulations need to go out to the Panama softball and Wister baseball teams.

Those two squads advanced to this week’s state tournaments.

Panama was unranked going into the regional tournament last week, but went 3-0 in a field which included fifth-ranked Calera.

The Lady Razorbacks have been on a roll since the LeFlore County Tournament, where they finished second to Poteau. The momentum started in the losers bracket finals against Spiro.

Panama trailed going into its last at bat, rallied and then gave Poteau a tough battle in the finals before losing.

Since then, the Lady Backs have been strong, even beating Poteau the following week.

Panama opens the state tournament against top-ranked Colbert on Thursday at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. The game is set to start at 5 p.m.

Wister’s road to a repeat trip to the state tournament was even tougher. The defending spring state champions hosted a regional, but fell into the losers bracket with a loss to Cameron in the first game of the tournament.

The Wildcats battled back to defeat Wright City and then downed Cameron to make it to the state tournament.

Wister opens tournament play with a game against Amber-Pocasset Thursday at 5 p.m. at Edmond Memorial High School.

If the Wildcats win, they will likely get a rematch with top-ranked Dale in the semifinals on Friday at noon. Wister downed Dale in the finals last spring.

Several other county teams came close to making the state tournament. Cameron lost out to Wister one day after nearly advancing before losing late to Rattan. Heavener, Spiro and Wister also won at least one game in the regional tournaments before coming up short.

Panama and Wister might not be the only county teams in the state tournament as Poteau’s girls open regional play at home this week. The Lady Pirates could qualify for next week’s state tournament by winning their regional in a field which includes Stilwell, Broken Bow and Fort Gibson.

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