ImpactPT 7.75x2.5 sep20

Going to the state softball tournament is nothing new for Avery Miller of Henryetta. She and several other talented freshmen made it to state two years ago in slow pitch and last fall in their junior year in fast pitch. But there was a difference for Miller in the two appearances.

“It was an experience my freshman year to go to state but I was more nervous last fall when I was in the circle and was a main focus of the action,” said Miller who pitches in fast pitch and plays third base in slow pitch.

 Chances are they would have gone last spring in slow pitch had Covid not erased the season. And Avery and her big stick are poised to go again this year as the Lady Knights are ranked third in the state at this time. Two years ago Avery clouted over 25 home runs in helping the drive to the state tournament. When coach Ryan Swallow took over the program three years ago he quickly discovered that Avery and her classmates presented a unique problem.

“The softball field butts up against the tennis courts here and when Avery and her crew came along, suddenly the tennis courts were being bombarded with softballs. So I had to talk the administration into erecting a 50 foot net atop the left field fence to keep all those homerun balls off the tennis courts. Even with that, they still sometimes clear the net as well,” laughed Swallow.

Miller says she has a great role model that she follows in former Lady Knight Alyssa Osterdock who went on to play college ball at Cameron.

“I just liked the way she dominated in the circle and her winning attitude,” said Miller who is also in the National Honor Society and the Native American Honor Society.

With just one senior on the team, Swallow says that Avery has stepped up more into a leadership position this year and is a leader by example for the team. Avery has a little sister who is a freshman and starts for the Lady Knights and Swallow says that with both being very competitive, sometimes things get a little lively.

“Yes they love to compete and they’re always bickering in practice,” chuckled Swallow. 

But in the games, it’s all for one and one for all on the Henryetta softball team.

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