Red Oak was cruising in Wednesday's Class A state title game against Leedey.
Until the sixth inning.
The Eagles held on to win 8-6, claiming their first slowpitch softball title since 1992, but Leedey's four-run sixth, which brought them to within two runs of Red Oak, made things interesting late.
“There's always that one inning in a good championship softball game that you have to recover from,” said Red Oak coach Casey Butcher. “We've talked about it and preached it. They did a really good job.”
Wednesday's result was quite different from last year's Class A title game, which featured the same two teams. Leedey won that one 16-4 in four innings.
“We've been in the final and been on the doorstep for a long time,” Butcher said. “We played tight; we had a lot of monkeys on our back.”
RATTAN REPEATS AS 3A CHAMPION
Rattan battled back from early deficits to win its second straight Class 3A slowpitch softball state championship Wednesday in a 6-4 decision over Fletcher.
After two innings, Fletcher led 3-0. Entering the fourth, the defending champs were down 4-2.
But in the top of the fourth, Rattan scored three runs to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
With the win, Rattan became the only 2011 slowpitch champion in any class to successfully defend its title in 2012.
FAIRVIEW GIRLS CONTINUE HISTORIC SEASON
Fresh off its first girls basketball state championship since 1974, Fairview made its first slowpitch softball state tournament appearance Wednesday with several of the same cast members.
Mike Barton, who was The Oklahoman's Super 5 Coach of the Year after leading Fairview to the Class 2A basketball title, also coaches the softball team.
Junior Olivia Mason started for the basketball team, and is the softball team's shortstop. Freshman Sadie Mason, who played a key role off the bench on the hardwood, played third base.
The results weren't the same on the diamond though, as Fairview lost its first-round game 13-1 to eventual 3A runner-up Fletcher.
ACADEMIC CHAMPS CROWNED
In addition to their on-field slowpitch softball state titles, Rattan (3A) and Red Oak (A) claimed the academic championship for their respective classes.
In Class 2A, Okarche, which didn't qualify for the state tournament, won the academic title.