The Edmond North Huskies continued their hot start to the 2019 season Monday by edging out Edlam rivals Edmond Memorial at Bulldog Softball Complex on Monday evening.
Two of North’s three runs came in the top of the fifth, when Grace Valois drew a one-strike walk. Memorial starting pitcher Emersen Heron retired the next girl up — Abby Harris on a pop out to the circle — but an errant pitch put 1-hole batter Jacee Minter on first.
With runners at first and second, a blooper lipped over the third base side. Memorial shortstop Mandi Lenon was on it, though, gloving the ball and diving to get a force out at third all in one motion. The heads up play put two outs on the board.
But then Kamryn Garvie drew another walk from Heron to juice the bases. After, shortstop Emily Deramus took a two-out blooper to shallow left field — a bit deeper than Aud’s fielder’s choice — that gave both Minter and Aud time to cross home safely.
Fresh off two, three-run bombs and another two-run dinger against Bixby in the Broken Arrow Tournament this weekend, Deramus came into the at-bat as one of the hottest hitters across 6A and Heron had no open base to put her on.
“She goes with an approach of you’re not going to get her out,” head coach Rick Nordyke said of his sophomore shortstop. “I’ve got two or three like that. Emily is seeing the ball a lot better right now.”
Deramus’ drive tag-teamed Memorial with a late RBI single from Kamryn Garvie to best the Bulldogs 3-1. Nordyke — like after last Thursday’s win against Lawton High School — said his team again fed off each other’s contagious success in the box.
“I think (Heron) kept us off balance all night, but we finally got a hit here and a hit there and we fed off that,” Nordyke stated. “I always preach: Hitting is contagious. And they fed off that. We played some great defense, Jacee Minter pitched a great game and Evy Aud came in and shut them down for the last two outs.”
The three runs helped eclipse a standout performance from Memorial starting pitcher Emersen Heron. Heron went all seven inning Monday, striking out nine and allowing three earned runs. But, until Deramus’ winner in the fifth inning, it looked like Heron would play offensive hero, too.
In the bottom of the third inning, Heron took a one-strike pitch out of left center field for her first home run of the season. At the time, it broke a scoreless tie.
“(Heron) did really well. She’s always pitched really well against them because she’s a competitor,” Memorial head coach Janet Chartney said. “She stepped up and did a good job tonight. She helped us out at the plate, too, hitting her first home run so that was really good to see.”
Chartney said Heron’s thrived in her new pitcher-catcher relationship with freshman backstop Leah McAnally.
“Leah and her are working really well together. There were several times I Iet Leah make the call and Emersen make the pitch,” Chartney said. “Unfortunately, our bats didn’t show up for Emersen tonight.”
Heron’s dealing was matched by North’s starting pitcher Jacee Minter, though. Minter managed Memorial on just four base-running opportunities. Minter relinquished only three hits and the sole, earned run in six and a third innings, just before senior closer Evy Aud entered to record the last two outs and secure the rivalry win.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a district contest against Putnam City High School ahead of this weekend’s Perry Tournament — a bracket that Chartney hopes to see her team continue their hot start to the season.
“I like going there because we play different teams that don’t know us,” Chartney explained. “We can go up there and utilize our other players and see what they’re going to contribute without being in district play and other 6A teams seeing us. We really love that tournament. It gives us a comfort level where we can go up there and swing the bat, play some defense and see what happens.”