OKLAHOMA CITY — Of course it was another one-run game. How could it not be a another one-run game for Little Axe at the state softball tournament?
It’s the only kind of game the Indians seem to play this time of year. And they just keep winning them.
Friday, at Hall of Fame Stadium, Little Axe dispatched Washington for a second straight season in the Class 3A semifinal round.
The Indians didn’t need 11 innings to top the Warriors this time. Only seven were required to pick up the 1-0 victory. Not that it wasn’t nerve-wracking and hard.
“I can’t think about that,” said Little Axe pitcher Andee Frazier, who threw a one-hitter and struck out 12. “1-0 is a lot of pressure, but I like the pressure.”
Frazier didn’t give up her no-hitter until Washington’s Dagan Lampkin greeted her with a one-out double off the centerfield fence in the sixth inning.
Frazier responded by striking out Tiffany Winchester, walking the very dangerous Jacie Stevens and getting Callie Busby to fly out to right field. It was the second and last time a Warrior reached second base.
“She’s getting stronger,” Little Axe coach Mike Bread said. “That’s one thing I’ve learned about Andee. She loves the lights, the crowd. She loves the big game.”
It was certainly that.
Played on the big diamond, the only one at the complex truly fit to be called Hall of Fame Stadium, both Transcript-area communities were out in force. It wasn’t enough to fill it up, but the crowd was large and the noise not too far removed from the Women’s College World Series, played on the same diamond every June.
At 1:30 p.m. today, against Sequoyah-Tahlequah, the Indians will be back on the big field playing for their second straight Class 3A crown and their third straight state title, a run that began with the 2010 Class 4A championship.
Little Axe pushed the game’s only run across in its half of the sixth inning, when Reagan McDoulett led off with a walk, Aubree Branch struck out and Cassidy Clark moved McDoulett to second base with a ground out. Next up Callie Brophy hit a hard shot through Washington second baseman Brittany Ball. McDoulett came around to score, leaving Frazier three outs from victory.
Earlier, Little Axe survived its only mishap in the field when Lampkin lifted a fly ball down the right field line that Indian right fielder Savannah Hall could only put a glove on, yet could not corral. Similar to what would happen two innings later, Frazier responded by striking out Winchester, giving Stevens a free pass and then Busby on a fly ball and Tymber Howard on a soft liner.
Washington pitcher Kailee Orr was very good, only three hits and striking out six. Frazier just had a few more answers.
“She’s been throwing harder lately and her ball hadn’t really been moving,” said McDoulett, Frazier’s catcher. “We talked about it and worked it out. She was really good today.”
Good enough to have Little Axe playing for another state championship.
Clay HorningFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org