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August 28, 2013

Behind Clark’s work in the circle and at the plate, Little Axe knocks off No. 2 Washington

LITTLE AXE — Scheduling confusion that led to a way late start couldn’t dent the state tournament atmosphere at Little Axe. 

Of course, Washington and Little Axe, having met in each of the last two Class 3A semifinal rounds at Hall of Fame Stadium, it made perfect sense.

It also made sense, even on the Indians’ fast-pitch diamond, it would be the Class 3A second-ranked Warriors’ turn to turn the tables on their area rivals. Then again, that’s why they play the games.

The winner of three straight state titles, Little Axe has hardly been able to buy a victory this fall. That all changed a little before 10 p.m. Tuesday, when the Indians secured their 4-3 victory over the Warriors.

“It would be a very, very big win at the right time,” said Little Axe athletics director Mike Bread as the game was being played.

So it was.

Cassidy Clark came through in the circle and at the plate, and the rest of her teammates just kept coming through despite falling behind 2-0 before ever coming to the plate, despite being robbed of runners at the corners and one out when a tough call went against them at third base in the fourth inning and despite giving up a 3-2 lead when a sacrifice and two infield hits from the Warriors conspired to knot the game in the fifth.

Clark allowed a first-inning extra base hits to Dagan Lampkin, a triple, and Brooke Rains, a double, and both came around to score. Yet she was strong the rest of the way, striking out two, walking or plunking nobody and allowing only the run in the fifth. Then, at the plate, she led off the bottom of the sixth with a double of her own.

Cheyann Brophy’s single put runners at the corners and Clark would have scored on Alyssa Gregory’s ground out, but she didn’t have to wait, coming home as Gregory backed out of the batter’s box following a wild pitch from Warrior starter Kailee Orr.

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