Stillwater’s Sidney McLaughlin – Academic Athlete of the Month Presented by BancFirst Stillwater

By Thomas Bridges

On a softball diamond in the depths of a town known for its orange, joins together the McLaughlin sisters, suited up in blue and gold, playing pitch and catch, of course not for the first time, but for the first time as Lady Pioneer teammates. And according to Stillwater High School sophomore, Sidney McLaughlin, it means everything.

While this isn’t Sidney McLaughlin’s first campaign for the Lady Pioneers, it will be her first season behind the plate. In the 2018 season, McLaughlin played first base and backed up the nation’s number three overall high school player, now Florida Gator, catcher Julia Cottrill. Though with big shoes to fill, it seems as Sidney is the Pioneer for the job.
In her first season’s bid, McLaughlin boasted a .462 batting average, good for 17thoverall and the 3rdhighest freshman average in the state. No stranger to the long ball, McLaughlin managed five home runs, good for 9thoverall in Oklahoma and 1stoverall for freshman players. Add in 22 RBI’s, standing 16thoverall, and McLaughlin is already on her way to filling up the stat sheet.

As for the impressive start to her high school career, Sidney mentioned that she “had no expectations coming into the 2018 season” and reiterated that she “just wanted to get out there and play.”

And for the 2019 season, Sidney expressed she couldn’t wait to share the field with her sister, senior pitcher, Lauryn McLaughlin. When asked about her relationship with her sister, Sidney laughingly admitted they “butt heads like any other sisters” but didn’t leave out how excited she was to have the opportunity to compete with Lauryn during her final year as a Lady Pioneer.

In speaking with Sidney, it was apparent that she’s very family-oriented, not only in speaking about her sister, but extending that notion to her softball family. When asked what games she was looking forward to most, McLaughlin excitingly mentioned “the games I’ll get to play against my OK Athletic Premier teammates” and “that it’s not so much like a rivalry against them, but just the opportunity to see them outside of summer ball.”

In the same fashion, McLaughlin also mentioned her coach, Karie Linsenmeyer, noting that “she’s like a second mom” and that Linsenmeyer has been her hitting coach since the 5th grade. Like any true student of the game, when asked what’s life like outside of softball, McLaughlin jokingly insisted that softball was it and expressed interest in giving hitting and catching lessons to Stillwater youth. She finally let on to say her academics were important, not only for softball eligibility, but for her future plans, mentioning math and history were her main areas of focus.

Not to look too far into the future, sophomore McLaughlin hinted at a possible engineering major and the opportunity to play at the college level. Though, for now, like any high school sophomore, McLaughlin stressed she’s just focused on getting her driver’s license.