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Oklahoma high school softball: Despite graduating 14 seniors off the state championship team, Piedmont hasn't lost a step this season

Piedmont head coach Keith Coleman was excited for the new season. 

After winning the 2019 Class 5A fastpitch state championship with a senior-heavy team, he knew many critics were going to write the Wildcats off this season. 

But with just one returning starter, sophomore Karissa Siegener, Piedmont does not look to have missed a beat from their championship run. The young Piedmont team is 17-3 on the season and in the run for another state tournament berth. 

“I don’t think many people outside of Piedmont, Oklahoma thought this was possible,” Coleman said. “We did because we know what kind of character our kids are made of and we know how much work they put in year-round for our program. It’s fun to see these young kids kind of figuring it out and finding ways to win games.”

Piedmont graduated 14 seniors off the state championship team, seven of those players were four-year starters. Coleman recognized his new group has a different playstyle and adjusted to fit. They’ve thrived in the new system.

“Just physically and maturity-wise we were at a different level than we are now,” Coleman said about his team last year. “So we played more for big innings. This year, we’re having to play more small-ball. We’re having to pitch a little differently in the past to help our defense. Just a more simplified approach.”

Sophomore pitcher Kylnn Brunson has proved to be effective for Piedmont. In Tuesday’s district win over Noble, Brunson struck out 10 batters, gave up just five hits and zero earned runs in seven innings. 

“As a sophomore, this is her first year to play any varsity games,” Coleman said. “And we have a freshman pitcher named Payten Schibbelhute, same thing with her. They’ve both done a great job, that's what’s really helped us.”

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James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›