The Navajo High School Lady Indians had been on a roll and one week after winning the district championship, they were looking to continue their hot streak at the regional tournament in Marlow.
Sterling did not have much of an answer for the Lady Indians’ Tabitha Armstrong who was a dual threat on the mound and at home plate.
Armstrong pitched all seven innings and struck out 11, while allowing only one run on five hits.
The tournament started out well enough with Navajo jumping on Sterling right away with a two-run first inning, while keeping Sterling scoreless until the third inning.
Sterling finally managed to get a run on the board in the third, but the Lady Indians answered with one of their own in the fifth and two additional runs in the sixth to earn a 5-1 victory over Sterling.
Armstrong was 2-for-3, scoring once and batting in another run to add to her impressive day on the mound.
Kalee Cross was 1-for-3, but put two runners across home plate with her one hit to get the Lady Indian’s five-run day started.
Game 2: Navajo scoreless for only fourth time
Central Marlow is one of the best teams in Class A softball for a reason and Navajo was on the receiving end of only their fourth scoreless game this season.
Marlow jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning and added two more in the sixth to win the game 5-0 on nine hits.
Navajo had only two hits all game as Marlow’s pitcher was on fire, pitching a complete game while allowing only two hits.
Marlow’s Kylee Sparks was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day and scored twice.
Brooke Burgess and Gracee Bates had Navajo’s only two hits during the game.
Game 3: Sterling ends Navajo’s state tourney bid
Having already dropped Sterling in their first game of the tournament, the Lady Indians were hoping for a similar ending in their third game of the tournament and looked to be on the receiving end of another win halfway through the game.
Neither team could muster any offense in the first three innings, but Navajo finally opened the game up in the fourth, scoring twice.
But Sterling answered back with three of their own in the bottom of the fourth to take the 3-2 lead.
Navajo quickly found themselves down, but not out, and knew they had to do something with the season on the line. Luckily for them, Karlee McCombs answered with a double to right field.
Armstrong laid down a bunt to bring in a run to tie the game and beat the throw to first to keep Navajo alive.
Gracee Bates then reached first on error, which also allowed Armstrong to score to give the Lady Indians a 4-3 lead over Sterling.
But Navajo’s defense faltered, giving way to seven Sterling runs in the bottom of the fifth.
They were unable to mount a rally and fell to Sterling 10-4 in their final game of the regional tournament.
The loss keeps them from advancing to the state championship tournament and ends a fantastic season with a final record of 26-13, earning them a top 24 finish in the state.
The Navajo Lady Indians will return to action in the spring as the slow pitch season gets underway.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.