When the season began, Charter Oak-Ute stood out as one of those teams that could make the state softball tournament.
Talented senior class. Tons of chemistry and a No. 10 preseason ranking. The "it" factor was there and the Bobcats cashed it in.
Charter Oak-Ute is back at State for the first time since 2012 and this group has the potential to make some noise. Of the nine players that bat, all hold a batting average of .317 or better. For most teams, making it to Fort Dodge is the ultimate goal, but this group has bigger dreams.
"They are very competitive and just making it I don't think is enough for them," said head coach Derek Dougherty. "They definitely want to go and make some noise there. Making it here is an accomplishment in itself but they do realize and you can just tell on the practices we've had so far that we aren't done and we aren't anywhere close to done. Hoping to continue on and win a couple games up there and give ourselves a chance for even more," said Dougherty.
The Bobcats face No. 4 Martensdale St. Mary's Monday at 3:00.
Class 1A State Softball:
West Harrison (Monday, 11:30)
#5 New London
#9 Newell-Fonda (Monday, 1:30)
Up in Class 3A, Estherville-Lincoln Central returns to State after a two-year hiatus. Down 7-0 in the regional final to No. 6 Spirit Lake, the Midgets scored eight unanswered runs to earn their spot.
ELC draws top-ranked Benton in Tuesday's quarterfinals, but they aren't backing away.
"We are Estherville softball," said head coach Megan Anderson. "Don't ever count us out and we are continuing to try to build that for our future programs. It would mean a lot for us to go down there. We are not just there and happy to be there, we want to be competing down there."
ELC will face Benton Tuesday at 7:00.
Class 3A State Softball:
#5 Mount Vernon
#11 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (Tuesday, 5:00)
Class 4A State Softball:
#13 Bishop Heelan (Tuesday, 3:30)
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