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Tahlequah

Tahlequah Fast-Pitch Softball Preview – Presented by BancFirst

The Tigers roared into the Class 5A state tournament a year ago and left USA Hall of
Fame Stadium with a vow to return and play for the championship in 2022. With
nine of their top 12 players returning and the addition of a talented freshman group,
Tahlequah has all the pieces needed to keep their promise and compete to make this
fall a dream come true.


“In my 20-plus years of coaching high school softball, this is far and away the
deepest team I’ve coached,” admits Chris Ray. “We’re two deep at every position and
three deep in some spots.”


VYPE Top 100 picks Mikah Vann (P, Sr.) and Jayley Ray (3B, Sr.) headline the Tigers
lineup card. Both are three-year starters and are the only two seniors on the roster.
“Those two kids are difference makers,” said Ray. “Mikah is a crafty lefty that
understands how to pitch in any situation. She has a career 35-19 record in the
circle including a perfect game and two no-hitters so far plus she hit .341 in 2021.
Jayley is near flawless at third base with a .966 fielding percentage the past two
seasons while averaging .365 at the plate. She embodies a true team-first concept.”
Charlea Cochran (2B, Jr.) is a two-year starter helping to solidify the middle defense
at second base or shortstop along with Jadyn Buttery (SS, C, Jr.) who will also go
behind the dish with Jersey Retzloff (C/OF, Jr.) or Maddy Parrish (C, 2B, Jr.). On the
other side of the infield, Ray has depth at first base including Amelia Miller (1B, C,
So.), Paisley Qualls (UT, Jr.) and Kori Rainwater (1B, Jr.).


The defense is completed with a talented group of outfielders led by centerfielder
Loren Walker (CF, Jr.), Retzloff and Jordan Bread (RF, So.) and Madi Matthews (LF,
Jr.), Riley Dotson (LF, P, Fr.) and Tara Dye (OF, Jr.).
The rotation of four pitchers including Vann, Bread, Dotson and Alayna Stopp (P, UT,
Fr.) who will also see plenty of time at second or third base, allows Ray to maintain
velocity and variety on throws from the circle.
Dotson, who was a pitcher for the Green County All-Stars that won the Little League
World Series in 2021, brings plenty of movement on her throws plus high velocity.
Ray notes that the other freshmen including Syda Alley (OF), Cadence Kirk (1B),
Ellie Murphy (1B) and Allie Spradlin (OF) will challenge for innings of play.
The Tigers are certain to be among the top five in Class 5A along with defending
champion Piedmont plus Coweta, Pryor and Guthrie.


“Defensively, we’re still going to be consistent and offensively we’re even stronger
than a year ago,” said Ray. “As a team, we’re united and willing to do whatever it
takes to win.”

The Tigers roared into the Class 5A state tournament a year ago and left USA Hall of
Fame Stadium with a vow to return and play for the championship in 2022. With
nine of their top 12 players returning and the addition of a talented freshman group,
Tahlequah has all the pieces needed to keep their promise and compete to make this
fall a dream come true.
“In my 20-plus years of coaching high school softball, this is far and away the
deepest team I’ve coached,” admits Chris Ray. “We’re two deep at every position and
three deep in some spots.”


VYPE Top 100 picks Mikah Vann (P, Sr.) and Jayley Ray (3B, Sr.) headline the Tigers
lineup card. Both are three-year starters and are the only two seniors on the roster.
“Those two kids are difference makers,” said Ray. “Mikah is a crafty lefty that
understands how to pitch in any situation. She has a career 35-19 record in the
circle including a perfect game and two no-hitters so far plus she hit .341 in 2021.
Jayley is near flawless at third base with a .966 fielding percentage the past two
seasons while averaging .365 at the plate. She embodies a true team-first concept.”
Charlea Cochran (2B, Jr.) is a two-year starter helping to solidify the middle defense
at second base or shortstop along with Jadyn Buttery (SS, C, Jr.) who will also go
behind the dish with Jersey Retzloff (C/OF, Jr.) or Maddy Parrish (C, 2B, Jr.). On the
other side of the infield, Ray has depth at first base including Amelia Miller (1B, C,
So.), Paisley Qualls (UT, Jr.) and Kori Rainwater (1B, Jr.).


The defense is completed with a talented group of outfielders led by centerfielder
Loren Walker (CF, Jr.), Retzloff and Jordan Bread (RF, So.) and Madi Matthews (LF,
Jr.), Riley Dotson (LF, P, Fr.) and Tara Dye (OF, Jr.).
The rotation of four pitchers including Vann, Bread, Dotson and Alayna Stopp (P, UT,
Fr.) who will also see plenty of time at second or third base, allows Ray to maintain
velocity and variety on throws from the circle.
Dotson, who was a pitcher for the Green County All-Stars that won the Little League
World Series in 2021, brings plenty of movement on her throws plus high velocity.
Ray notes that the other freshmen including Syda Alley (OF), Cadence Kirk (1B),
Ellie Murphy (1B) and Allie Spradlin (OF) will challenge for innings of play.
The Tigers are certain to be among the top five in Class 5A along with defending
champion Piedmont plus Coweta, Pryor and Guthrie.


“Defensively, we’re still going to be consistent and offensively we’re even stronger
than a year ago,” said Ray. “As a team, we’re united and willing to do whatever it
takes to win.”

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