OKLAHOMA CITY — Little Axe wasn’t just playing for a state championship Saturday when it took the field against Seqouyah-Tahlequah. It had a dynasty in mind.
After winning the 3A title last year and the 4A crown in 2010, it was looking for one more to set them apart from other programs around the state. However, it took a clutch at-bat from one of the team’s unsung stars for the Indians to claim a 1-0 victory over Seqouyah-Tahlequah to become three-time state champions.
“It’s incredible,” Little Axe coach Mike Bread said. “Just unbelievable to me. I don’t doubt the kids. It’s not that. It just doesn’t happen. You have to have a little bit of luck, the right players, the right situation. And the ways that we win is so uncommon. One run, somewhere somehow, they find a way to get it done. They just don’t ever quit.”
It took each of those qualities for Little Axe to walk out of Hall of Fame Stadium as state champions.
In the bottom of the seventh inning with the game still scoreless, Little Axe’s Alley Allen reached base on a single and McKenna Watson bunted her over to second. Sammy Leisinger smashed a single into right field, putting Allen on third base with only one out. Aspen Vail struck out, and they intentionally walked Andee Frazier to load the bases.
Reagan McDoulett came to bat with a chance to put LA in the history books.
“All season long they had been telling us to compete no matter what the pitcher throws at you,” McDoulett said. “I just knew no matter what, I was going to hit the ball hard. My only thought was to hit it hard.”
McDoulett hit a liner up the middle. Shortstop Susie Davis fielded the ball and just needed to step on second base to end the inning. However, she tried to toss it to Taylor Thompson, who was unable to handle the throw. Scott was safe at second and Allen scored easily from third. The rest of the team rushed the field.
“I was just so excited,” McDoulett said. “I was so overwhelmed. Immediately the first base coach attacked me. I was so filled with excitement I could not explain it. It was amazing.”
The main reason McDoulett was in position to earn the game-winning hit was due to the work Frazier had put in on the mound. The senior allowed only two hits in seven innings while striking out 15 batters.
“I knew it was going to be my last senior game,” Frazier said. “I had to give my all. I knew I couldn’t slow down. People depend on me.”
Frazier was on her game from the very start. She struck out the first three Seqouyah batters in the first inning to set a tone for the rest of the game.
Conversely, Tahlequah’s Jessie Bluebird found herself in trouble in the bottom half of the inning. The senior had runners on first and second with two outs before getting Aubree Branch to ground out and end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, McDoulett reached base on a fielder’s choice. Aubree Branch singled to put McDoulett in scoring position with one out.
Seqouyah coach Jeff Turtle replaced Bluebird with Kati Phillips, who came in and squelched the rally by fanning Cheyann Brophy.
In the top of the seventh, Frazier walked a batter with two outs. Taylor Owl had a chance to make Little Axe pay for the mistake. But Frazier sat her down with a fast ball and set the game-ending drama.
“I think it’s amazing,” McDoulett said. “At the beginning of the season, a lot of people were doubting us. But, obviously, they came out here to support us because they knew we had it. They knew the second we qualified that this was our year. This was the team to do it.”