The Edmond Memorial Bulldogs advanced to the second round of the 6A Fast-Pitch Softball State Tournament after knocking off the Deer Creek Antlers 9-3 on Field 3 of the Ballfields at FireLake Thursday morning.
The two teams had met twice in the regular season and they had split the wins, with Deer Creek taking the first win and Edmond Memorial taking the second. Memorial’s head coach Janet Chartney said those two matchups prepared the Bulldogs for Thursday’s battle.
“It was tough, the first time we played them we made too many errors and they hit three bombs that were really just out of the park,” she said. “And then the second time we played them… We stayed on them and scored late and won that game so the confidence was there now, so that set the tone and we beat them at their place with regionals on the line so that was cool. So it was fun coming into today.”
Deer Creek, Memorial match up in state quarterfinals
Edmond Memorial unloaded in the first inning scoring four runs. The rally started as Jill Dickson recorded an RBI single that scored right fielder Ryley Watkins, who had walked earlier. Freshman catcher Leah McAnally then cleared the bases with a double to left-center field.
This caused Deer Creek to switch pitchers from starting tosser Caitlyn Wells to Terin Ritz.
“I was a little surprised that they didn’t start Ritz,” Chartney said. “But the girl that they started had beat us already. But we’d been swinging the bat really well and the girls are seeing the ball so well, It’s just like ‘throw anybody out there and see what happens,’ so I was very pleased we had a good start.”
Defensively the Bulldogs held the Antlers to three runs and although Edmond Memorial’s pitcher Jill Dickson gave up two home runs to Creek's Shayleigh Odom and Hailey Evans respectively, she struck out 15 batters as she pitched the entire game.
“[Jill Dickson] did really good,” Chartney said. “She started off a little slow and was trying to be careful around those top batters but she really dominated the bottom of the lineup. And as the game got going she started coming a little quicker, getting her strikes early and so that kind of set the tone. So she really did well, I was very pleased with her.”
Dickson also recorded a two-run home run for the Bulldogs in the fourth inning.
“She swings the bat really well so I’ve got a couple girls,” Chartney said. “Edmond Memorial has hit 14 home runs in their career in one season and I think this team’s sitting at 31. So up-and-down the lineup at any time I think they can really bring it.”
The Bulldogs will battle the winner of Sand Springs and Moore Friday morning at 11 a.m.
“Mindset tomorrow is swing it.” Chartney said. “Just keep on swinging it and let my pitchers do what they’re supposed to do and just see what happens.”