A sign of the day to come, sadly for Sequoyah, came in its first at-bat Friday at the Ballfields at Firelake in Shawnee.

The defending Class 3A fastpitch champs loaded the bases on singles by Lexy Keys, Amiah Galcatcher and Lana Gass, all with no outs.

Madi Joice, the reigning All-Phoenix/Tahlequah Daily Press MVP, struck out for the first out. Ryleigh Clinton hit a infield pop out in foul ground  and Smalls Goudeau grounded to first to retire the side with no damage.

Sequoyah would strand seven on base, and their bid to repeat as champions ended in a 3-1 loss to Washington, the team they beat 11-1 in last year’s final.

Twice the Indians stranded a pair of baserunners, but couldn’t find the clutch hit outside of a one-out single by Ryleigh Clinton in the bottom of the third, scoring Gass, who reached on an error, to make it 2-1. That would be as close as the Indians (42-3) would get.

Washington (31-11) got a run off Tintey Lucas’ sacrifice flyout in the second, then Katelyn Hicks’ single to center in the third.

Keys  was 2-for-2 in the leadoff spot for the Indians, who had just six hits on the day, one less than Washington, which plays Tishomingo, a 9-1 winner over Prague, in the championship game on Saturday.

Joice, who has committed to play at Mercer University after this season, was touched for two unearned runs. Sequoyah had four errors. Joice struck out four and walked one.

This was Sequoyah’s 12th straight state appearance and a single-season record for victories. Last year was their first to win it all. It ends a two-year run of 82-5 and a four-year run for this year’s seniors of 153-23.

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