COLBERT— The Tushka Lady Tigers won the first Colbert Summer Festival on Saturday in a mix of school and select softball teams.
Colbert softball Coach Damon Lewis said the first-ever two-day festival was a chance to bring some good off-season competition to their new softball facility.
“This is probably something we’ll do every summer,” he said. “We had a lot of local traveling teams come over from Sherman and Denison. It’s gotten good support from the community.
Seven teams participated in the festival, five from area schools and two select teams, the Triple Crown and Strike. School participants included Colbert, Tushka, Durant, Bennington and Panama.
Pool play was held Friday, with an all-day playoff bracket on Saturday. Triple Crown, coached by Chris McCraw and featuring players from Rock Creek, Colbert, Kingston and a pitcher from Bonham, Texas, defeated Durant 6-4 to reach the finals. Offensive highlights for Triple Crown included a double and two runs scored for Alexis Olguin (Colbert), a triple and a run for Taylor Reeve (Colbert), and runs scored by Michelle Wheeler (Rock Creek) and Mikayla Wells (Kingston).
Panama also dropped Durant 2-1 before falling to Tushka 5-1. The Lady Tigers eliminated Colbert 9-1, with Jordan Weger scoring the lone Lady Leopard run in the first.
This set up a school vs. select final showdown between Triple Crown and Tushka. The teams agreed to throw out the clock and play a full seven, and six of those innings proved scoreless behind solid defense.
All seven runs were scored in the fifth inning, which tipped in Tushka’s favor by a score of 6-1. Kelsey Chambers threw a complete game for the Lady Tigers, and Tushka Coach David Durbin mentioned catcher Kaitlyn Cook, Jayden Eaves, Kayla Wilhite and Logan Carbaugh as the game’s big hitters.
“We’ve played pretty well all summer long,” he said. “I hope we can carry it into the regular season. We’ll have a chance to be pretty good.”
There were plenty of highlights on both sides. Olguin and Makenzie Marshall (Colbert) both hit singles for Triple Crown, but both were left on base. Olguin chased down a fly ball in center (one of two nice catches she made in the game) and teammate Jade Graham (Rock Creek) backpedaled for a nice catch in left to end the Tushka fourth.
Eighth-grader Karissa Marshall (Colbert) came in to relief pitch for Britney Whirley (Sam Rayburn) and allowed only two Tushka runs.