Chickasha once again had to dig deep; and, once again, they pulled out a victory.
On a night where the top half of the order struggled, the middle and bottom-half hitters saw the Fightin' Chicks through for a big 4-2 win over Noble at home on Tuesday. It ensures Chickasha (22-9, 11-2) gets to host a regional tournament when playoffs begin next week.
Brayden Belden and Brandon Shumway, the eighth and ninth batters in the lineup, both went 2-for-3 with two RBI a piece. Shumway left a big stamp on the game in the form of an RBI-single straight up the middle to bring around Tresjon Davis in the bottom of the sixth, leaving Noble with plenty of work to do as the game wound down.
"That fourth run was big," head coach Brad Gore said. "The tying run would have been standing at second. It was an overall good game by our team. I'm proud of them to lock up a regional here."
The Fightin' Chicks were up against some solid pitching from the Bears' Derek Underwood. In six innings he struck out seven and walked just two. A two-run rally that gave Chickasha the lead in the fourth was the most he ever gave up at a time.
Belden responded in kind from the Chickasha mound, striking out six while walking one and giving up just four hits in all seven innings. It's part of what allowed the Fightin' Chicks to bide their time and find the hits necessary.
"If they do score a couple on us, we have the ability to hold them, pitching wise, and our defense played an excellent game tonight," Gore said. "I thought Brayden pitched a good game, and when you have good pitching and defense, you can hold them and allow time for your offense to make something happen."