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.