Two separate 1-1 counts in two separate innings.

The scenarios were eerily similar when Brooke Freeman waited for the third pitches. Both times the junior knew she could help her team out with any kind of play and both times she did.

Freeman’s home runs tied and won the game for Sequoyah — a championship-caliber performance in a 3-1 victory over Fulton to grab the program’s first district championship since 2019.

“We are very proud of them. During the preseason and the offseason, we kept constantly reminding that the talent was there and it was going to be our attitude and how we show up that takes them to where they want to go,” Sequoyah Coach Allen Roberts said. “I feel like we really turned that around from last year. Our approach, how we lifted each other … it is hard to win district titles and Fulton is a very good team, we just came out and found a way to get it down.”

Freeman, the District 5-3A Offensive Player of the Year, is batting .500 on the season with 13 home runs and 26 RBIs. Her two home runs were her only hits of the District 5-3A Tournament.

Sequoyah went 8-0 in the regular season with district play before running through the district tournament 3-0 with 18 runs scored and five allowed.

Two wins over No. 2 Fulton and a rout of No. 4 Lenoir City was the path for the Lady Chiefs (17-5) to the title.

“Both games we have played Fulton (in the tournament) our defense has been lights out. Play after play after play — our middle infielders put on a clinic. Getting to watch them work the high IQ plays, Kadence Brewer and Tynleigh Ray played the middle infield great,” Roberts said.

Fulton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first through a Lindy Webber single with two outs — the only time Sequoyah trailed throughout the tournament.

The Lady Falcons (17-11) had a pair of hits in the top of the first before Sequoyah settled in. The Lady Chiefs retired six consecutive batters twice after the first inning, allowing only two more hits and four base runners.

“Defensively, we did everything right. And Angelina (Ervin) pitched a gem. She has had a great, great tournament,” Roberts said.

Ervin struck out four on the night — 11 through the tournament while allowing only two earned runs.

Fulton’s Webber, the District 5-3A Pitcher of the Year, put together a solid performance against a Sequoyah squad with a team batting average of .394.

Webber struck out 12 and held Sequoyah to only three hits and four base runners throughout the game.

Fulton’s senior ace changed her pitching style away from something that Sequoyah has seen three times this season — slowing down with an offspeed approach.

She did not allow another hit and struck out four batters before Freeman came back to the plate, sending her second home run out over center field for a 2-1 lead.

“We put in a lot of work (on Monday) with hitting to prepare. Tonight, Webber changed things up to try to throw us off,” Roberts said. “Brooke, and she has done this all year, is really dialed in. When she sees the ball she can hit it a mile. She showed that with two big home runs tonight. She showed she is the District 5-3A Offensive Player of the Year for a reason.”

Ervin doubled in the next at-bat. Hannah Kirkland came in as a courtesy runner — advancing to third on a dropped third strike that got Chloe Summey aboard. An error at first base during Ray’s at-bat scored Kirkland.

Sequoyah’s win clinches a spot in the Region 3-3A Tournament on Monday, May 16. The Lady Chiefs will host the District 6-3A runners-up while Fulton will travel to the District 6-3A champions — both single-elimination games.

A win in the region championship would secure a berth in the Class 3A Sectional. Sequoyah last reached the Sectional round in 2019.

“Between the two I think that may come out from down there, their styles are very different. We are going to approach it like we have for every game all season,” Roberts said. “When we show up we will try to be us.”

East Hamilton and Soddy-Daisy are the finalists out of District 6-3A.

“With playing Fulton these past couple games, we have seen a lot of quality pitching and that will help in the region tournament. Whoever we will play, we will be up against a really good team,” Roberts said.

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