Mustang High School’s spring slow-pitch softball program opens its season next week with interim head coach Geoffrey Davis at the helm.
The Lady Broncos host Purcell in the season opener at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Mustang Softball Complex.
At 4:30 p.m. the next day, Mustang travels to Southmoore for its road opener.
The Lady Broncos’ hectic first week concludes with a 4:30 p.m. home doubleheader March 5 against Putnam City.
Lacy Darity, who was hired in December to be the Lady Broncos’ head fast-pitch coach, will assist Davis while she completes her contract in Deer Creek.
Davis was an assistant last fall for Mustang’s fast-pitch team.
Darity currently is an assistant coach for the Antlers’ track and field teams. The school doesn’t field a slow-pitch softball team.
“I’m not sure of the logistics,” Darity said in December upon being hired, “but I’ll make it down here (Mustang) as much as I can, maybe a couple of days a week to help with the slow-pitch program.”
Darity, 35, said some of her earliest recollections as a youth were of playing softball in Mustang.
“I’ve known about Mustang softball ever since I was young,” she recalled.
Darity said she traveled from her home in Velma to Mustang for hitting and pitching lessons and played on travel teams.
Darity is a former Oklahoma State University standout who has coached three seasons at Deer Creek, a district rival of MHS.
“It has always stuck with me that Mustang is absolutely one of the premier softball programs in the state,” she said. “I’ve always believed that.
“I’m very humbled to be given the keys to this program and build on the tradition that is Mustang softball.”
MHS last won the
Class 6A state fast-pitch championship in 2017, but has failed to advance from regionals the past two seasons. It will be Darity’s task to return the Lady Broncos to prominence.
Mustang also won state titles in 1988 and 2014.
“The goal is always to win the title,” said Darity, who has captured state crowns as an athlete in both basketball and track and field at Velma-Alma.
During three consecutive years in softball, her Velma-Alma teams reached the championship game but were beaten each time. Darity says “that has left a chip on my shoulder. As a coach, I really want to get there.”
Following her college days as an OSU infielder, Darity was an assistant coach on Yukon’s 2010 fast-pitch team that won a state title.
During her career at Deer Creek, Darity led the Antlers to a 72-30 record, including 28-4 in 2018. That team reached the state semifinals but lost to eventual champion Westmoore.
Last season, Darity guided Deer Creek to a 27-10 mark. During her tenure, she is 3-3 versus Mustang.
Darity said she plans to start an offseason strength program to enhance MHS’ player development.
“One thing we did at Deer Creek that really helped is implementing a strength and conditioning program in the summer and offseason,” Darity said. “We’ve seen a lot of gains come out of that.”
Darity also wants Mustang players competing in club ball as much as possible.
Darity said she is familiar with the solid nucleus of players the Lady Broncos return from last season’s 22-11 fast-pitch team.
Those players include pitcher-third basemen Landry Garza and Lauryn Cottrell, catcher Cassie Passwaters, outfielders Hannah Keele and Sierra Selfridge, shortstop Logan Picklesimer, second baseman Caitlin Delaney and pitcher Kiera McGahee, among others.
Darity said she can’t wait to begin putting her plan into action and begin building a family-oriented culture with the Lady Broncos.
“I was at Deer Creek for three years, so I was really close to those kids and we had a good group coming back,” Darity said. “But at the end of the day, this was an opportunity that I didn’t think, if I passed it up, might present itself again.