MURFREESBORO — Don Freudenthal was asked if he was superstitious.
"All the time,'' the veteran Ezell-Harding softball coach said Thursday just after his Eagles advanced to the TSSAA Division II-A softball winners bracket finals with a 4-0 victory over Davidson Academy.
The reason for the question?
Freudenthal has won a state record 12 state tournaments, three more than any other school, in his 19 seasons Ezell-Harding. The last one was in 2001.
A win Friday will give him 13 — hardly unlucky.
"I wouldn't mind that, because then I would need to get another one next year for 14 and get off the unlucky number,'' he said, laughing. "We just have three seniors, and one of them, Christina Gable, and our junior shortstop Callen Griffin have been our leaders all year, both vocally and on the field.''
It was Gable who provided the pitching and hitting the Eagles (32-10) needed. She scattered nine hits for the shutout and blasted a booming two-run home run to left for a 3-0 lead in the fourth, plenty enough for the win.
She struck out two and walked one and Ezell won for the third time in four meetings with DA this season.
"We had a runner on, and I was just trying to hit it somewhere,'' Gable, who has signed with Austin Peay, said of her eighth home run, which tied her with Griffin for the team lead.
"I have a really good defense behind me, and I know they will make the plays. Winning state is something we've been working toward the whole season, and we are so close.”
Leadoff batter Brittany Edmonson led off the fourth inning with a triple to right and scored on Lauren Batson’s sacrifice fly. Griffin then doubled, and Gable followed with the home run.
The Eagles, who had 13 hits, added a run in the fourth on Edmonson's RBI double to left-center.
"When I got the triple and scored, that got us the lead,'' Edmonson, a sophomore who went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI said. "[Getting to finals] is really exciting. It's something we've worked for the entire season.''
Davidson Academy loaded the bases in the fifth when Hannah Hoover was hit by a pitch after Savannah Peek and Darby Rains each singled. Gable got the next batter on a flyout and ended the threat.
Losing pitcher Savannah Carr struck out three and walked none.
"We've won nothing yet,'' Freudenthal said. "But sometime [Friday], we're hoping to be holding that gold [championship] ball.''
The Eagles will play University School of Jackson in the finals 10 a.m. Friday. A second game, if needed, will follow.
USJ eliminated Davidson Academy 13-4 later Thursday.
• Baseball: Christian Brothers High trounced Montgomery Bell Academy 13-3 and won the Division II-AA championship. The Big Red had fought through the loser's bracket to reach the final. David Harrison went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI in a 12-6 MBA win over Christian Brothers which forced a deciding game.
Goodpasture crushed Spring Hill 8-1 for the second straight day and reached the Class AA final. The Cougars will play Pigeon Forge (38-2) for the championship 2 p.m. Friday at MTSU.
• Soccer: Franklin advanced to the Class AA championship with a 3-2 victory over Maryville. The Rebels will meet Farragut 7 p.m. Friday for the title.
Kingsbury edged Christ Presbyterian Academy 3-2 in an A/AA semifinal.
In Division II, rivals Father Ryan and MBA meet for that title.
• Tennis: Lucas Spickard of CPA (boys A/AA), Maxx Lipman of Brentwood High (boys AAA), Hannah McClellan of Harpeth Hall (girls DII-AA) and Francesca Eluhu of USN (girls DII-A) all won two matches Thursday and earned spots in the singles finals, which begin 9 a.m. Friday at Old Fort Park.