Class 2A softball is in for an interesting season.
Due to new alignment in the class this season, two 2018 state champions will be looking to win a state title in the class in 2019.
The Dale Lady Pirates have remained in Class 2A, but one area team has moved to the class from Class A. That team is Amber-Pocasset.
Now competing in Class 2A, the Lady Panthers will be competing in district play throughout the regular season.
The Lady Panthers are in District 2A-3 with two other area teams, Minco and Dibble. Healdton, Stratford, Wynnewood, Walters and Frederick round out the district.
Am-Po is looking to continue the momentum that it gained from its last two seasons in Class A during the fall. The Lady Panthers have been to two state tournaments in a row during the fall, as well as two state tournaments in a row in Class 3A during the spring.
In 2017, Am-Po advanced to the state semifinals after knocking off Caddo in the first round of the tournament. In 2018 — Am-Po's last season in Class A before moving up — the Lady Panthers were able to finish the job.
Am-Po survived a scare in the first round against Stonewall, winning the game 12-8 in extra innings. Bailey Kite delivered the game-winning hit for the Lady Panthers in that game in the top of the ninth inning.
That was not Kite's only big hit of the state tournament.
Following a 9-3 win over Canute in the semifinals, Am-Po faced Ripley for the state title, picking up a 5-1 victory to win the program's first state championship.
Kite also put her team ahead for good in that game.
Can a team put an end to Dale's title streak? That is what Am-Po will be trying to do in 2019.
The Lady Pirates have won the past two Class 2A titles and have won four out of the past six championships. Dale has been in every state title game since 2013.
Dale has also been dominant in the spring.
Silo has been another power in Class 2A with a streak of state tournament appearances. Silo has been to the state title game the past two seasons.