The last time the Edmond Memorial Bulldogs softball team appeared in the state championship game was 15 years ago, in the fall of 2004.
Friday afternoon the Bulldogs ended the wait as they punched their ticket to the 6A Fast-Pitch Softball State Tournament Championship game with a 8-0 shutout win over the Moore Lions on Field 3 of the Ballfields at FireLake.
“I’m feeling elated, it’s just unbelievable,” said Edmond Memorial head coach Janet Chartney. “ The girls once again swung the bat when they needed to.”
Edmond Memorial finished the game with nine hits and two home runs on Friday, one day after putting up 10 hits and two more home runs against Deer Creek.
“They just really focused at the plate, we’ve been hitting a lot in practice,” Chartney said. “I think it’s just confidence and swinging the bat.”
Sophomore Jill Dickson, who hit a two-run home run in Thursday’s win over Deer Creek, hit a three-run blast on Friday, this time over the center field wall.
“That ball might still be going, that was over 220 [ft] and high,” Chartney said. “But she has a very sweet swing and she’s really strong. She does that consistently through her summer ball and so it’s just complimented Edmond Memorial High School.”
Emersen Heron hit the first home run for Memorial, which gave the Bulldogs the only run they needed as she pitched a complete game shutout, striking out seven batters.
“Defensively gosh [we] made some great plays,” Chartney said. “And then Emersen [Heron] on the mound was phenomenal today. During districts we threw Jill [Dickson] at them twice so they never saw Emersen coming. And I think that helped us because they never saw Emersen until today. And Emersen was on so it was really great to see.”
The Bulldogs advanced to the championship as the 7th seed in the tournament. Making them the underdog in both their games so far, as they lost to both teams they knocked off earlier in district play.
“Our district was probably the hardest district in the state of Oklahoma,” Chartney said. “And I think that district prepared us. We had some hard losses to all these teams that were above us. Which pushed us down to five within our district but actually in all reality, it pushed us right in the regional we wanted to go to because we knew we could play with them and just momentum started rolling and we just stayed with it. So it’s been a good ride.”
The Bulldogs have not lost in nine games. Their latest loss came by Moore on September 26.
“We definitely peaked at the right time,” Chartney said. “[Moore] mixed in with our last loss. It was just one of those days that wasn’t meant to be for us. But today was so it was awesome.”
Chartney remembered the Bulldogs’ previous finals appearances and their outcomes.
“[Broken Arrow] beat me last time in 2004, Edmond North got me in 2001 and then we won it in 1993.”
The Bulldogs will try to win their first softball state championship since 1993. They will battle the winner of Owasso and Broken Arrow on Field 4 Saturday at 5 p.m.