Edmond North saved its best for last.

Edmond Santa Fe is hoping to do the same.

The two teams continued Class 6A regional softball play Thursday on their home fields, with the Lady Huskies advancing to the state tournament after a 4-0 victory against Jenks and the Lady Wolves getting within a step of doing the same with a 1-0 win against Choctaw.

For North, the final stamp on a successful sweep was sweet to experience. The defending state champions struggled early this season, bringing about swamps of nay-sayers. Now, however, it appears the Lady Huskies may be playing their best just at the right time.

“It feels good to get there again, get a chance to defend our championship,” head coach Rick Nordyke said. “We really feel we’re playing our best at the right time.”

Senior pitcher Miranda Dixon was once again on fire, striking out 16 batters in a one-hit shutout. She allowed just two base runners the entire game.

That meant North’s nine hits and four runs were more than enough to seal up the regional crown.

“Miranda pitched a great game, we scored right off, we got two-out hits. We did a lot of the things we were doing last season,” Nordyke said. “They have a lot of confidence right now. I think back to the third or fourth week of the season when a lot of people wrote us off. But the girls have always known they could do it.”

The Lady Huskies plated two runs in the first inning and two more in the second to build an early lead.

Dixon got the ball rolling in the first with a one-out walk, followed by an error and a two-run single by Tela Lovingshimer. In the second, Alyssa Patterson singled to lead off, then Laurin Hess and Dixon each drove in runs on two-out singles.

This is the fourth-straight regional championship for North.

“The big thing about us, we’ve struggled a little bit during the regular season, but we’re 16-1 in tournaments,” Nordyke said. “There are seven or eight teams that can win it, and we’re one of those seven or eight.”

Santa Fe may be one of those, as well.

The Lady Wolves’ regional was a game behind everyone else in the state due to weather, meaning they still have more work to do today. But Santa Fe got the big one out of the way on Thursday, and now heads to the finals needed just one win in two chances to return to state.

Kayla Lawson was the hero in the semifinals win against Choctaw, limiting the Lady Yellowjackets to only one hit and striking out 15 batters en route to the shutout.

“She had a really good game. She was just on and pitched really well,” head coach Rhonda Lawson said. “The one hit was pretty much it. They didn’t even have many chances.”

Santa Fe, which had lost to Choctaw just last week, got the only run of the game in the third. Brittney Osborn reached base on a single, moved to second on a sacrifice, went to third on a Haley Anderson base hit and scored on a single by Alexa Old Crow.

Now the Lady Wolves will take on Westmoore at 3 p.m. today. An “if necessary” game is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Santa Fe defeated the Lady Jaguars, 5-1, early in the season.

“That was early, it was our first tournament of the season. So, you never know,” Lawson said. “ They’re pretty speedy and scrappy, so we’re going to have to definitely play ball.”

Recommended for you