By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman North was in complete control. The Timberwolves scored in each of the first two innings to take a 5-0 lead and held the Tigers scoreless through four in the first softball Crosstown Clash of the season.
Then it all came crashing down.
It started innocently enough. The Tigers, who put the leadoff runner on base in each of the previous four innings, did so again after a five-pitch walk. Another walk followed, and Secily Tiger doubled down the third-base line to bring in the Tigers’ first two runs of the game.
And once they started, they didn’t stop.
By the time it was over, the T-Wolves had committed three errors, NHS had pounded out six hits and the Tigers had plated 11 runs. They wouldn’t score again, but it was more than enough to pick up the 11-9 victory over North, which scored in four of the seven innings but couldn’t match the Tigers.
“These girls are capable of more than they even know,” said NHS coach Andrea Harrison, who admitted she had never been a part of a team that won a game in quite the way the Tigers did on Tuesday. “All they need is some confidence.”
They certainly have that after winning the Clash. The Tigers managed nine hits in the game to North’s 12, and it looked early like the T-Wolves might run away with the victory. Catcher Ali LaBrie had four RBIs to lead North, which had established a five-run lead and looked like it was cruising to a shutout before the huge innings from NHS.
It was an inning that had plenty of big hits but none that left the park. The Tigers strung together a number of singles alongside a few doubles, and smart base-running and taking advantage of North’s errors made the difference.
“I tell the girls we’re not a team that’s going to win by hitting the ball over the fence, we’re going to kill them with singles,” Harrison said. “I’m proud of the way they did that. And credit has to go to our pitcher Ciara Longman. She doesn’t get a lot of it, but she will do whatever it takes to win.”
Even after the huge comeback, the T-Wolves fought on. They added two runs in the bottom of the fifth and another pair in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to two, and it looked like they might do more than that. With two runners on, the Timberwolves ripped a line drive into right field, but NHS’ Savannah Stein made a difficult running grab on the line to end the threat and wrap up the victory for the Tigers.
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