The Oakville Senior High School Tigers took another step in the right direction toward defending their state softball title last week when they defeated Seckman 4-2.
The Tigers prevailed Sept. 7 for their seventh win of the season in a pitchers’ duel.
Head coach Rich Sturm was happy to see a quick turnaround from his girls after a 12-3 loss the previous day to Lafayette.
“It was a good win,” he said. “We had a tough one yesterday against Lafayette and to be able to come back and play a solid game all the way around and beat a good Seckman team, it feels good … I think it will be a good confidence boost for our team.
Throwing the ball for the Tigers in the win and currently holding the No. 1 pitching spot was freshman Jordan Michalski. Sturm called her performance “very good.”
“Jordan has been very solid this year and for being a freshman, we’ve asked a lot from her to this point and she’s done extremely well,” he said.
Michalski and senior Nicole Willie have been splitting the games so far, but Michalski has emerged with a slight edge.
“She’s been throwing the ball really well the last couple of weeks. So right now I would say she is our No. 1 pitcher,” Sturm said of Michalski. “She’s pitched in some big games for us and done extremely well.”
Oakville played small ball in the contest and used a suicide squeeze to bring in the first run of the game in the first.
In the fourth, the Tigers came back to life, starting with a hit and then capitalizing on a pair of throwing errors by Seckman. The Tigers put a runner on third and scored on the next play on an overthrow by the catcher.
Another squeeze called by Sturm paid off as Oakville scored two in that inning.
Oakville scored one more in the sixth from a sequence of hits. The Jaguars started to threaten late with a bit of rally in the top of the seventh and put two runs on the scoreboard. They couldn’t muster any more as Michalski shut them down for a complete game and her third win of the year.
The Tigers (8-3) went on to defeat Incarnate Word 19-5 the next day.
The Tigers have a completely different team than a year ago when they won the state championship. That hasn’t stopped them from continuing their success early this season, though. Oakville is ranked seventh for big schools and recently placed third in the Chesterfield Tournament, defeating Suburban West rival Lindbergh.
Sturm said his team has met his expectations so far this season and he will continue working toward helping his players reach their full potential.
“I have a lot of confidence in this group and the exciting thing is that they are not even close to being as good as they are capable of being,” Sturm said. “Each day we are getting better and hopefully a month from now when districts start, we are a lot better then than we are now.”