Call it a standing eight-count that sent Oktaha to the canvas in the Class 2A quarterfinals Thursday at USA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.
It was an eight-run third by Dale, making it a 13-0 game, that sent the Tigers reeling. They got back up and landed a few punches, but the road back was too far out of reach in what became a 15-5 outcome.
Making its 10th consecutive state trip and winning its 14th consecutive game, Dale (35-4) sent eight batters to the plate in the third all reaching base — five singles, a double and two walks. A double play at shortstop Ava Scott, who snagged a line drive and flipped to second to double off the runner there, ended the onslaught.
“They are definitely a great hitting team,” said Oktaha coach Kia Holmes. “Any mistake we made pitching against them they made us pay, but give them credit. All the scouting reports I had on them were spot on. Every coach told me Dale’s nine hole batter was better than all their three-hole hitters.
“But I was proud of our girls for not giving up. Our seniors have been here every year of their careers and I’m proud of that.”
Oktaha (23-7) answered by loading the bases in the top of the fourth on Gracie Britten’s leadoff single, a hit batter in Karley Fewel, and Jaylie Burress reaching on an error. Peyton Bryan singled home Britten,then Payton Stewart laced a two-run single to score Fewel and pinch-runner Gracie Harjo.
Dale got a run back in the bottom of the fourth, then back came the Tigers again. Ava Scott had a one-out single and moved to second when Britten reached on an error and to third on Williams’ single to right. A fielder’s choice groundout by Fewel sent Scott home, and Britten would also score on a fielding error, and Oktaha avoided a run-rule elimination in that at-bat.
It was only a temporary reprieve.
Dale’s Madison Conley doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth and Addie Bell’s one-out single ended the game.