When the Duncan Lady Demons captured the regional championship last Friday afternoon, it was a special occasion for everyone involved with the softball program.
But, for the three senior starters on the squad, it was a much bigger accomplishment.
Right fielder Brieanna Webb, center fielder Rachel Cooper, and shortstop Courtney Moore are the last remaining members from the Lady Demons’ last state tournament squad in 2009.
“The majority of kids across the state never get to compete at a state tournament,” Duncan coach Robert Cowan said. “In Class 5A it’s about 25 percent of all the kids get to participate in a state tournament. To get the chance to be in multiple state tournaments is an honor. All three players bring different things to the table and are all very talented.
“Brie has had some of her best moments this season, especially last week. Rachel hit .531 last season and is a huge part of our offense. For the first half of the season, Courtney Moore was our offense, so we rely heavily on all three of them.”
Perhaps the only thing the seniors would like to be different about this trip to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, would be the outcome.
Despite outhitting Collinsville 10-4, the Lady Demons came out on the losing end of things in October of 2009, falling 2-0 in the state semifinals.
The game hasn’t been forgotten in the minds of the Lady Demons who are returning to Oklahoma City this week.
“I feel accomplished, because this is what we wanted to do at the beginning of the season,” Moore said about making the state tournament. “We didn’t compete very well last time we were at state. I don’t remember much about the game, but I remember getting beat out.”
Cooper added she remembers the intensity of the squad from ‘09 and hopes this years team has that same fire.
“I remember how bad we wanted it and how hard we had worked,” she said. “Things didn’t go in our favor but I still have some great memories with the girls. This year we’re a closer group, and we work extremely well as a team.”
For Webb however, when the Lady Demons last appeared in OKC, she wasn’t a member on the starting squad. She said she’s excited about the fact this time around, she’ll be contributing on the field.
“It’s kind of hard to believe we’ve all been to one state tournament before,” Webb said. “I’m really happy this time around though, that I’m going to be starting. Seeing the starters last year made me want to work hard to get out there. I’ve been working really hard to get here.”
Grove will provide the opposition Thursday night at 5 p.m. for the Lady Demons, and all three seniors have their sights set on a state championship.
“It makes me feel great knowing I’ve worked to get to this point,” Cooper said. “This wasn’t handed to me by any means. I’d love to win and get that ring, because it would probably never come off my hand.”
Moore added this year’s team has exceeded her expectations, and she’s hopes they can finish this journey together, with a win.
“From the beginning of this year, I never thought we would make it this far,” she said. “But we’ve all worked hard and it’s paid off. Finishing my senior year with a ring is one of my goals. It would mean everything to me.”
Webb emphasized with her teammate.
“It would mean everything to win state,” she said. “Considering this is my first year starting, winning would be huge for me.”