OKLAHOMA CITY — When it matters most, nothing ever comes easily for Little Axe. Also, the Indians don’t lose.
For almost three years.
Thursday evening at the Class 3A state fast-pitch tournament it was freshman Aubree Branch who played the hero.
She almost played it in the sixth-inning when her one-out double put the Indians into position to push the winning run across.
Then she really played it in the bottom of the eighth when her single down the right-field line plated Julia Scott, handing the Indians a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium complex.
The other hero?
That was pitcher Andee Frazier, for whom Scott was running. Officially, Frazier reached on a fielder’s choice because Aspen Vail was hung up between first and second base and was thrown out after Frazier’s bloop found a home in short-right field.
Really, Frazier had already earned her status by setting down 13 straight Dragons, even with a sore arm, still recovering from pitching three regional games Tuesday.
“I may have been a little sore,” the senior hurler said. “I may not have been 110 percent, but I was at least 100 percent.”
The Dragons will vouch for that. Frazier retired 11 on strikes.
“She’s able to adjust,” Bread said of Frazier, who got by on a curve, screwball, riser and the occasional changeup. “She’s able to put us in situations where we can actually throw to a spot.”
Branch wasn’t new to coming up big for her team, but maybe new to talking about it. What was she thinking at the plate after Reagan McDoulett followed Frazier with a single?
“Just have to get it done,” she said. “I just had to close my eyes and get it done.”
Did she have a feeling something good would happen, because the Indians always seem to win tight games at the state tournament?