A fifth-inning rally led the Edmond Memorial Bulldogs to a come-from-behind victory over the Owasso Rams Saturday to win the 6A Fast-Pitch Softball State Championship. It’s the program’s first title since 1993. 

“Well they hung in there,” said Edmond Memorial head coach Janet Chartney. “We’re used to popping out and scoring pretty quick and when we didn’t do that and got a couple strikeouts I think the girls got a little antsy. And they were young so the nerves kind of hit a little but that one inning they put it back together and executed what they needed to do.”

During the state tournament the Bulldogs attacked in the first inning in their two previous games scoring four runs against Deer Creek and two runs against Moore. But they wouldn’t put any runners across the plate until the fifth inning on Saturday.

With the bases loaded, Memorial’s Beth McAnally hit a two RBI double over the center fielder, to score her sister, Leah McAnally, and Avery Flaming. It gave the Bulldogs the lead. The McAnallys finished with three of Memorial’s four hits Saturday, with Beth hitting twice in her three at-bats. Leah was 1-for-3 with a walk.

“That’s all I needed was a hit to the outfield,” Beth McAnally said. “It didn’t need to be a base hit it just needed to be hit to score my sister, who was on third. It didn’t need to be anything special — just a hit. And then it was something special.”

Ryley Watkins followed McAnally as she knocked in the final run of the game for the Bulldogs with an RBI sac-fly, scoring Caylor Cole, who tagged at third. Cole had Memorial’s final recorded hit, and she advanced to third with speedy base-running on McAnally’s two-RBI hit.

Chartney said the girls just put it all together in the fifth inning.

“Caylor put that bunt down, Leah led off with a hit, Beth comes up and hits a bomb over the center fielder’s head, and then we had that long fly ball to score Caylor (Cole),” she said. “Caylor’s our fastest kid on the team, she’s a track star.”

Just like the first round against Deer Creek, sophomore Jill Dickson pitched a complete game for the Bulldogs. She struck out seven Rams batters.

“(Her performance) was outstanding, she did a really good job especially after she settled down after the bomb was hit on her,” Chartney said. “I thought the (umpire) was a little tight at times and I thought she worked through that really well. And she’s a sophomore so there were times when she was a little stressed but I’m so proud of her.”

The Rams’ Lily Shaw hit a solo home run to right field in the second inning and after the home run Dickson recorded six of her seven strikeouts. 

Memorial finishes the season as state champions with only one senior on the roster.

“These next few years are going to be great — just because we’re already a pretty mature team even though we’re young,” said Dickson after Friday’s win over Moore. “I think we play for each other. It’s just a big aspect in it so if we keep going the chemistry is just going to stick.”

Chartney continued, “I think they grew up as the year went on and started to get more confident and so just rolled into state with lots of confidence. We didn’t hit like the bomb today but we stayed with it and competed so that was good to see.”

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