No. 5 Washington (24-14) rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to defeat Sulphur 8-6 in a Class 3A state softball tournament game Thursday.
Kelsey Harmon had three singles, and Jaci Stephens single twice, scoring twice for the Lady Warriors, who received a dozen walks from Sulphur pitching.
“We started staying more patient at the plate and drawing some walks,” Washington coach Bryan Howard said. “We left 16 runners on base. We can't do that (Friday).”
Washington faces top-ranked Little Axe on Friday after the Indians downed Chelsea 2-1 in eight innings.
The two schools split their two-game season series, with each team winning 5-0.
“We got a pretty good little rivalry going on with them,” Howard said. “They beat us here last year in the semis, an 11-inning game. We are very familiar with each other.”
BRANCH, FRAZIER KEEP LITTLE AXE ALIVE
Freshman Aubree Branch, who had three hits, delivered a one-out, game-winning RBI single for Little Axe (26-10) in the Indians' win.
Branch, who had doubled in her previous at-bat, lined the first pitch down the right-field line.
“I walked in (the batter's box) and said I was going to do this for my team,” Branch said. “I got up there and just swung at the first pitch and it went my way.”
Little Axe coach Mike Bread recently moved Branch to the fifth spot in the batter order from the seven or eighth spot because she had been hitting so well.
“I don't know that I have ever moved a freshman that high in the lineup in the eight years I have been here,” he said. “She really came through.”
Branch's hit ended a tight pitching duel between Little Axe's Andee Frazier and Chelsea's Maddie Boyd.
Frazier struck out 11 batters and retired the last 13 Chelsea hitters in the game.
“I knew I couldn't make a tiny mistake because anything could turn into a run and lose this ballgame,” she said. “It's a lot of pressure, but you want the pressure. It makes you better.”
Frazier kept the Indians in the game.
“It's no secret Andee is the biggest reason why we have been ranked No. 1,” Bread said. “She is just a tremendous player. It's been great to have her on the team for four years.”
BIG DAYS AT THE PLATE
Payton Walker homered, doubled, singled and was also the winning pitcher in Hammon's 10-3 win over Maud. ... Lauren Trimmer was 4-for-4 with a triple and knocked in five runs as Roff belted Welch, 10-3.
The top-ranked 2A team, Drumright, escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the seventh, then scored the winning run in the eighth to defeat Stroud 3-2.
Courtney Stucks' RBI double scored Stephanie Ledgerwood with the game-winner.
BLUEBIRD PACES SEQUOYAH-TAHLEQUAH
Jessie Bluebird allowed one hit and struck out six in six-plus innings, and Megan Towie went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Sequoyah-Tahlequah past Kellyville 5-1.
Bluebird retired 12 straight batters in one stretch and didn't allow a hit until Tori Record's RBI double in the seventh.
Kara Linch went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Indians, while Jakkie Wright tripled and scored off Kellyville starter Melinda Ennis during a two-run third inning.