Good teams always find a way to win. Friday night at Harrah, the Fightin' Chicks played sloppy, didn't pitch well, spotted Harrah a four-run lead with a case of the bobbles but exploded for seven runs in the fifth to escape with a 15-11 “W” and a berth in Saturday's round of Red Dirt tourney games.

Since the Chicks would be hosting the weekend rounds they expected that they'd be playing, but the Panthers almost spoiled the party.

Both starter Chance Sneed and reliever Dalton Shepard struggled through 2.3 long innings, working from behind, getting hit hard and getting little help from the defense at times.

Chickasha's solid defense imploded in the second, committing four throwing errors in a four-run sequence before Shepard stopped the bleeding with back-to-back strikeouts.

After the Chicks pulled out a nifty 5-3-6 double play in the third, a single and a Matt Miskelly triple gave Harrah an 8-5 lead and brought Lee in. The sophomore fanned two-hole Chance Barron to end the threat.

He gave up another three runs in the fourth as the Panthers teed off on him, but settled down, started making better pitches and worked himself out of trouble, getting all three outs with the bases full.

Meanwhile, Chickasha finally unloaded on 14-year-old freshman Caleb Jackson, who had kept them from getting anything going through four complete and kept his team in the game.

Chickasha's powerful hitters now had him timed and let loose. Kyle King ripped a triple to the right field corner and Bill Hartis ripped a double to the right-center field gap. Jake Jobe went the other way, launching a blast way over the left-center field wall. A couple of walks and the veteran Miskelly was called in to put the fire out.

The Chicks roughed him up and King ripped another rocket to the right-center field wall with the bases full in his second at-bat of the inning. Jobe flied deep to center to end the inning but Chickasha finished with seven runs on five hits. They picked up another run in the sixth when Kyle Hernandez ripped a hard grounder up the middle for his second RBI hit.

Lee, however, kept getting stronger and allowed just one more single before the game was called after six on a time limit.

There were a lot of offensive numbers to go around. King led with four ribs on two doubles and a triple, getting hit in his other at-bat. Hartis, Jobe, Blake Taylor, Kennedy Winn and Kyle Hernandez each had two. (Hernandez scored number 15 on a wild pitch.)

For Harrah, Miskelly had three RBIs on a 3-for-3 night, Barron and Lane Haines each drove in two and Taylor Waggaman, Dakota Haines and Jackson each had one.

Chris Muchmore summed it up: “You don't ever count us out.”

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