EDMOND — When players graduate from their respective high school teams, the word legacy always comes into question.

EDMOND — When players graduate from their respective high school teams, the word legacy always comes into question.

What kind of legacy did they leave behind? Are they deserving of it? What did they do to earn it?

To say the Sulphur Lady Bulldog softball seniors from 2017 are leaving behind a legacy to follow would be a gross understatement.

They are leaving behind history.

Saturday afternoon Savannah Ashford, Ashlie Hedemann, and Payton Szalaj cemented their legacies in the SHS athletic history books as they played together in the Oklahoma Slow Pitch Coaches Association All-State game at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond. 

It was the first time in program history three Lady Bulldogs represented Sulphur softball at the same time in any all-state game.

The moment was one which just added to an already impressive run for the trio.

“My teammates are always supporting us,” Ashford said. “Being around that group of girls this season was one of the best things ever for me this season.”

Speaking of the season, Sulphur softball put together one for the record books.

During the fast pitch season, the Lady Bulldogs pushed their way to the state quarterfinals. But, there was more to come during slow pitch.

Sulphur made history reaching the slow pitch state tournament, completing the double for the first time in a calendar year as a program.

“It was really great getting to play with my teammates again one last time,” Hedemann said about all-state. “We were the first team to win district, conference, and regional championships in the same season. That’s something that really sticks out in my mind.”

“I’ve gotten to play alongside these girls since I was in junior high,” Szalaj said about finishing at all-state. “It’s been a pretty special thing to have shared this journey with them this season.”

Adding to the accolades this season, Ashford was selected to play in both fast-pitch and slow-pitch all state games. Head coach Heath Gilbert was also recognized as the District 5A-1 Slow Pitch Coach of the Year, while assistant coach Talley Thomas was given Assistant Coach of the Year for District 5A-1.

“Savannah (Ashford), Ashlie (Hedemann) and Payton (Szalaj) are three great players who have contributed greatly to build this program into what it is today,” Gilbert said about his all-state trio. “Their work ethic has shown these younger girls what it takes to achieve their goals. They were able to help us reach four state tournaments, and that’s something to be very proud of.”

The next step for these ladies will be college along with all the challenges and triumphs it will bring.

For Ashford and Hedemann, they will be continuing their run as teammates at Murray State College in Tishomingo. As for Szalaj, she’s undecided about her college future, but said she is excited to see where her future will lie at the next level.

“I’m just excited to be able to get better in college,” Hedemann said. “It’s going to be great having someone I’ve already played with being their with me. But mainly I’m just excited to get better and see where it takes me from there.”

“This is just a chance to be able to continue what I’ve started since I was little,” Ashford said about playing at Murray State. “I wasn’t ready to hang it up yet so I’m excited for the next chapter of my life.”