By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
SHAWNEE – Champions are both lucky and good.
Sequoyah’s been good enough to flirt with a championship multiple times, including last year’s heartbreaking final where an error led to the only run of the game in a championship loss to Little Axe.
Friday at the Ball Fields at Firelake, the bounce, and good fortune, went its way and opened the floodgate to what became a 10-5 victory over Henryetta in the Class 3A semifinals.
Trailing 5-4, top-ranked Sequoyah (34-6) was just two outs away from elimination in the seventh inning when, with runners at first and second, Kelsey Leach hit a hard grounder down the line at third baseman Bailee Powders, who momentarily had the ball in her glove with double play written all over it.
Instead, the ball deflected into foul territory and up into a dead ball area past the Sequoyah dugout.
Two runs scored, and then the bottom dropped out on the No. 6 Lady Knights (24-10).
Alyssa Osterdock walked Symphoni Shomo and Megan Towie, giving way to relief pitcher Alissa Taylor. Hayleigh Galvan met her with a bases-clearing double to left Another RBI single by Sydney Smith and the damage was done.
Lady Indians pitcher Katie Phillips retired the top of the Henryetta lineup in order on a pair of grounders and liner, all to Shomo at second.
“We told the girls before the game that you’ve got to be lucky enough to get the breaks too,” Sequoyah coach Jeff Turtle said. “That helped so much because we didn’t have to worry about getting that lead run home. It was already in. Then we just put some distance between us.”
An illegal pitch was called on what appeared to be the final out when Taylor flied out to Merissa Smith in center, igniting a premature celebration that Turtle tried to wave off. That didn’t sink in, for as Taylor then grounded out on a 3-1 pitch, it happened again.
“I didn’t want us acting like we were done. We’re not done,” Turtle said. “We’ve been here too many times not to finish. We’ve got to get that one tomorrow.”
“But that’s hard not to. To be down like we were, we couldn’t hold it in,” she said.
Osterdock had held Sequoyah to just four hits through six innings but two of those went yard. Shomo had a solo shot in the first and Galvan did the same in the sixth.
Two errors, one in the first and the other in the second put the Lady Indians up 3-0. A two-run sot by Mykaela Wallace in the home half of the third made it a 3-2 game and that held until the Lady Knights grabbed a 5-3 lead in the fifth thanks to three Sequoyah errors.
Galvan’s home run made it a one-run game and set up the dramatic finish.
The Lady Indians had eight hits. Henryetta got six off Phillips, who registered one strikeout, the first batter she faced.
Sequoyah gets Washington (24-8), a 6-3 winner over Marlow in the other semifinal, at 1:15 today, again at the Ball Fields.