STORM CENTER: DeFord valuable member of Petrolia softball team

The Petrolia High School softball team has enjoyed a modicum of success this season; but, that hasn’t happened without injuries.
Especially at first base.
Earlier this season, Krista Reese suffered a torn meniscus, and then freshman Emilee Macklin was injured during the playoffs.
At that point, Petrolia head softball coach Eric Simmons went to Samantha DeFord and asked her if she would be interested in taking over at first.
DeFord had been Petrolia’s primary second baseman, but the move to first was out of necessity.
“Sami’s been a great kid to have on the team,” Simmons said after Thursday’s Conference 2A Regional Final against Archer City.
“She’s hit the ground running,” Simmons added about DeFord’s move to first base.
Simmons said DeFord has hit the ball extremely well for the Lady Pirates this season, a successful year in which Petrolia has won 30 games.
Archer City defeated Petrolia, 4-3, during Game One of the best-of-3 series on Thursday evening in Bowie. It marked the first time the Lady Pirates had lost since March 2 (a 3-1 defeat versus Lindsay).
Petrolia won the District 2A-8 title, with the likes of traditional powerhouse Windthorst and Seymour in the mix.
For DeFord, the move to Petrolia was a natural fit. After all, her father Michael DeFord graduated from there in 1991.
“It’s been a home for me,” said DeFord.
So, what about that move to first base?
“It’s been very challenging,” she said. “I’ve been staying after practice to work on it. I just want to make the team better.”
DeFord called this year the best experience she’s had playing softball.
“I wouldn’t trade this for anything,” said the Petrolia junior. Read more from this column in the May 27 Bowie News.

Editor’s Note: The Storm Center column is the expressed written views of sports editor Eric Viccaro and not The Bowie News.

Samantha DeFord prepares to bunt during the seventh inning of Thursday’s Conference 2A-Region I softball regional final at Bowie High School’s outdoor complex. This game served as a Homecoming for DeFord, who played for Bowie as a freshman. She is currently playing first base for District 2A-8 champion Petrolia. (News photo by Eric Viccaro)

SOFTBALL SERIES

Conference 2A

Regional Final

Archer City vs. Petrolia

At Bowie High School

May 24

Archer City 4, Petrolia 3

May 26

Archer City 4, Petrolia 3

(Archer City wins series, 2-0.)