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May 4, 2013

Chickasha baseball wins regional, earns state berth

CHICKASHA — The Chickasha High School baseball team is heading back to the state tournament after beating No. 6 Bishop McGuinness in the regional final Saturday afternoon at Elliott Field.

The Fightin' Chicks won the game 4-3, finishing the regional tournament an undefeated 3-0.

All of Chickasha's runs came on a grand slam in the top of the first inning by first baseman Brant Haile.

Luke Dixon led off with a single, Cade Morris walked and Lane Smith singled to load the bases, and Haile hit the home run over the right field wall.

"I just wanted to take a ball, get a base hit and score one, maybe two, and I hit a grand slam, thank God," Haile said.

Chickasha only got one hit the rest of the game after Haile's home run, so the Chicks had to rely on pitcher Lane Smith and the defense to hold the lead.

Smith had nine strikeouts in the complete game win, and didn't allow a baserunner until the fourth inning.

Bishop McGuinness scored two runs in the fourth inning. Bradley Fritch hit a lead-off single, advanced to second on a groundout, moved third on another, and scored on a single by Jordan Edwards.

Edwards was driven home on an RBI double by Joe Corbett.

The Irish scored one more run in the sixth inning, but blew a good chance at the tying run.

Jacob Westhusin got on base on a throwing error, and scored on a double by Thorn Cowley. Cowley got greedy, however, and was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.

Edwards walked in the next at-bat, and was on second after a groundout by Mike Neuberger for the second out. Edwards was picked off at second for the third out of the inning.

Smith struck out the first two batters in the seventh inning, and Brian Confield popped up to Dixon at second base for the final out.

"Lane just pounded the zone," head coach Brad Gore said. "Wherever we put the glove, he hit it. He had just that one inning where he missed a couple of times, but he just kept coming at them."

Chickasha now looks ahead to the 5A state tournament, set to begin Thursday at Edmond Santa Fe High School. Gore said the preparation for the tournament won't include any major changes.

"We've got some things we can work on still, but we're just going to work with our regular routine," Gore said.

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