Muskogee Roughers

Fast Pitch Opening Day

Views: 334604
Donate to our team!
Nancy Harrold
Page Created By: Keith Coleman Date : 10/31/2012
Nancy Harrold, who organized Muskogee High’s softball program in the 1970s, will carry that legacy with her as she was inducted into the Oklahoma Softball Hall of Fame.

Learning of her induction was a surprise, but that was due in part to some crafty cover-up by her daughter, Tammy Delmedico. Delmedico is an assistant fastpitch and slowpitch coach at Fort Gibson.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather,” Harrold said. “My daughter asked for a photo and I thought she was doing a scrapbook for Christmas and I was a little teed off when I didn’t get it.”

Softball has always been a part of Harrold’s life. The 68-year-old Fort Gibson resident was one of 11 kids — nine of them girls — born to L.A. and Irene Alcorn. Nine equals, well, a full lineup, and you can guess how that turned out as they grew up in Bristow.

“That’s all they had was fastpitch softball for boys and girls in the summer,” she said. “We traveled around central and western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle doing just that.”

And she did so up to only recently until knee problems told her it was time to give it up.

Meanwhile, slowpitch was the summer thing to do in Muskogee. Teresa Hallum was among those who played it. She was among a group of girls who went to Harrold with the idea of petitioning the school to add the program during the 1975-76 school year.

“She went to bat for us,” Hallum, who lives in Tulsa now, said. “It took the effort of several groups of parents to get it done and mine were a part of that. My dad kept stats and probably still has every stat from that time.”

Leslie Leeds Scott, still a Muskogee resident, was part of that first team with Hallum.

“It seemed natural for her to be the one we’d go to to do this,” Scott said. “I knew she played and we’d played in summer leagues in slowpitch on several different teams that were pretty good. She was also the girls tennis coach. The tough thing was we knew we would be going up against teams that had been doing it forever.”

Muskogee had tennis, golf, swimming and basketball for girls before starting softball. Memorial Park, which was located in a lot immediately north of what’s now Muskogee Seventh/Eighth Grade Center and is used only as a spot for youth teams to practice these days, served as the main facility for games.

“The biggest hurdle was we had to buy our own uniforms,” Harrold said. “The school just didn’t do a whole lot for girls athletics before Title IX and I was a female coach in a man’s world. We didn’t have our own practice and playing field on campus. We used the band field when they weren’t using it and we played probably a dozen or so games on the baseball field. I used to get so irritated with Bob Branan (then the MHS baseball coach) for setting the sprinklers to come on when we were there.

“My husband (Wayne) drove the bus and we bought T-shirts and put numbers on them. Some pretty humble beginnings from what they have now.”

Joy Sloan, who remains to this day involved in Muskogee’s Green Country Girls Softball Association, is another of her former players and the person who nominated her for the hall.

“When I think back to our practice field, it’s amazing none of us ever got hurt out there,” she said. “She brought the program up through some hard times.”

Harrold’s 31-year teaching career began in 1966. She retired from coaching in 1981. But she takes satisfaction in knowing Muskogee got its first state tournament berth in fastpitch this past fall.

“Chelsey Etchison plays over there and I taught her father,” she said. “I’ve still got a tie or two but my loyalty and time shifted to Fort Gibson when Tammy came over here to coach.”

Harrold keeps the scorebook in the press box at Fort Gibson. She has one last itch to return to coaching.

“I want my daughter to get to retirement age so I can put together a senior olympic softball team,” she said.

By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="Photo.aspx?photoId=37587&">&nbsp;Rate &amp; Comment</a>

Page Comments:
No comments, be the first to comment?
  • Armstrong Bank
  • TTCU
  • Archers Cleaners
  • Marvin's Mowers & Moore
  • Midwest Sporting Goods
  • American Bank of Oklahoma
  • Penns Athletics
  • Biglow Funeral Directors Inc
  • BancFirst
  • Charlies Chicken
  • Hamlins El Toro