After months of hard work, trials and tribulations, wins and losses, the road to the state tournament has finally reached its final destination for two area fast pitch teams.

After months of hard work, trials and tribulations, wins and losses, the road to the state tournament has finally reached its final destination for two area fast pitch teams. 

Today the Ardmore Lady Tigers and the Lone Grove Lady Horns will put it all on the line as they compete in the Class 4A and 5A state tournaments respectively at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

For LGHS it’s the first trip to the state tournament since 2014, as the Lady Horns took down Blanchard (2) and Cache in the regional tournament last week to earn their trip to OKC.

It’s been a much longer wait for the Ardmore Lady Tigers as they haven’t been to the state tournament since 2003.

AHS also swept its way to a regional title last weekend, as the Lady Tigers took down Del City and Guthrie (2) at home.

The road towards a possible state title begins at 1:30 p.m. today for Ardmore, as the state quarterfinals will put the Lady Tigers against defending state champion Pryor, with the game being played on Field 3.

PHS enters the state tournament with an overall record of 37-3, and won the district 5A-3 championship this season with a perfect 12-0 mark.

Meanwhile the Lady Tigers enter with an overall record of 23-11 and finished second in district 5A-2 with a 9-3 mark.

“We feel like we can match up well with Pryor,” Ardmore coach Charli Crawford. “If Lexi (Duff) can keep their offense contained and if we can manufacture runs at the plate, we have a chance to be successful.”

“I think this is going to be a very special moment for our team,” Crawford added. “I hope the girls take it all in and enjoy it. We’ve had some really good practices and been very loose this week preparing for this game. We have to remember to take this game one pitch at a time. If we win every inning, then we win the game.”

Last season, Pryor won its opening round game at the state tournament 2-0 over Duncan, before winning in the semifinals 4-3 over Deer Creek. PHS didn’t explode offensively until the state finals when the state title was obtained with a 14-3 victory over Durant.

A police escort will take the Lady Tigers on a caravan tour this morning beginning at 8 a.m. from Ardmore High School. The caravan will then pass by Will Rogers (8:20 a.m.), Charles Evans (8:30 a.m.), Ardmore Middle School (8:45 a.m.), and then finish passing by Veterans Park around 8:55-9 a.m.

In the opening state quarterfinal game of the day, Carl Albert (35-2) will take on Tahlequah (30-6) at 11 a.m., with the winner meeting either Ardmore or Pryor Friday morning at 11 a.m.

The other half of the Class 5A bracket will see Piedmont (28-5) taking on Shawnee (24-10) at 4 p.m. with Woodward (31-8) taking on Durant (29-8) at 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, in the Class 4A bracket the Lone Grove Lady Horns will be playing in the final state quarterfinal game of the day against the Grove Lady Ridgerunners beginning at 6:30 p.m. this evening from Field 4.

Grove will be making its first state tournament appearance since 2012, and its first as a 4A school. The last time the Lady Ridgerunners played in the state tournament they won the Class 5A state championship.

LGHS won the state title in 2004, and is making its first state tournament appearance since 2014.

While the Lady Horns were able to sweep their way to the regional title, Grove had a much more difficult journey.

After winning its opening game against Berryhill 12-2, GHS lost to Blackwell 2-1. Grove then had to win two games against Blackwell along with a single game against Ft. Gibson to earn its place in the state tournament.

Grove was the district champion out of 4A-6 with a 13-1 record, and sports a 33-9 season record.

The Lady Horns were also district champions out of 4A-3 with a perfect 12-0, and own a 28-5 overall record this season.

To say the Lady Horns resume has been impressive this season would be an understatement.

Along with a perfect 16-0 record at home, the Lady Horns have had a strong record against Class 4A opposition, going 20-1 against teams from the classification this year.

Grove meanwhile has gone 21-5 this season against Class 4A teams.

Lone Grove has also played two of the other teams who will be at the state tournament this year in Tuttle and Bethel, with both games coming at the Chisholm Trail Classic in August.

THS managed to defeat the Lady Horns 1-0, while LGHS won its game over Bethel by a score of 3-1, which was part of a long mid-season winning streak for the Lady Horns.

Lone Grove will begin its police escorted caravan today at 2 p.m. beginning at the high school.

Bethel (25-14) could await in the state semifinals should the Lady Horns advance over Grove, as BHS will take on Hilldale (28-9) at 4 p.m. in one of the other three state quarterfinals contests.

Newcastle (31-8) and Perkins-Tryon (32-3) will begin the Class 4A bracket at 11 a.m., with the winner meeting either Tuttle (35-3) or Broken Bow (29-10) Friday morning at 11 a.m.

A victory would see the Lady Horns play at 1:30 p.m. on Friday from Field 4, with the state championship game set for Saturday at Noon from Field 1.