If attitude makes the difference, Chickasha can put a valuable win over Carl Albert down to an overnight mood swing.
It was mentality, head coach Brad Gore said, that made the biggest difference in the Fightin' Chicks' 2-1 win over the Titans, considered one of the best teams in Class 5A, on Tuesday. Mathematically it was a two-run sixth inning that took the Chicks to the comeback victory.
But for a team that has struggled at times this season to get the hits they need against the top teams, the attitude had to come first.
"I thought the guys did an outstanding job today after what we had to take [Monday,]" Gore said. "They were hitting that thing all over the yard, and today they get three hits. When we got done with the game yesterday, we talked a lot in the dugout about how that's not what our program is based on.
"We talked about what kind of team we had an our mentality when we came back today. Would we be a tough Chickasha, hard-minded, hard fighting team like we've had for the last ten years, or are we going to be soft, and I think they answered that question today."
Another big difference was the pitching for Chickasha. They got seven good innings out of three of their top hurlers, most importantly sophomore starter Brayden Belden. In 4.2 innings he struck out seven batters, walked five and let up zero runs. It's not the first time this season he's received post-game praise, and with this trend it shouldn't be the last.
The Fightin' Chicks have made somewhat of a habit of closely-fought games that are edged out in the end. It's a much more defense-minded team that focuses on keeping the hits they need to win as low as possible.