By MIKE BLACKERBY
MURFREESBORO — Farragut will play for a state Class AAA softball championship Friday.
Getting there was a struggle Thursday night against Summit.
The Lady Admirals, on a night when they weren’t at their best, summoned all of their powers in a 5-1 eight-inning win over the Spartans.
“We all came together as a team,” said Farragut coach Nick Green.
“We made some amazing plays and made some errors, but we’re going to the state championship game. It’s pretty amazing. I’m so excited for this team.”
The Lady Admirals (36-2) will play at 3 p.m. Central time Friday for the opportunity to win their first state title in 39 years.
Summit (25-8) plays Coffee County (32-6-1) at 9 a.m. in the loser’s bracket elimination game.
The winner will have to beat Farragut twice.
The if-necessary game is scheduled for 6:30.
The Lady Admirals scored a run in the top of fourth to take the lead against the Spartans.
Lauren Brakovec led off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Autumn Caywood.
It looked like the one run might stand up as Farragut took a 1-0 lead into the last of the seventh.
But the Spartans rallied as Hannah Sundberg opened with a double off the right-field fence.
Farragut pitcher Avery Flatford fanned the next two batters, but Summit’s Claudette Runk ripped a two-out single to center to score Sundberg and send the game to extra innings.
The Spartans appeared to have momentum on their side, but Farragut’s bats finally came alive.
The Lady Admirals pushed across four runs in the top of the eighth, highlighted by Ava Guzowski’s sharp liner over the third base bag that plated two runners.
Guzowski, Brakovec, Ace Strickland and Sarah Livingston all went 2 for 4 for the Lady Admirals, who had 10 hits.
Farragut was both brilliant and uncharacteristically shaky in the field.
The Lady Admirals made three errors, but perhaps the play of the game was a diving catch by Farragut right fielder Livingston with two outs and the bases loaded.
“If that ball (drops), that’s easily two runs,” said Green.
Flatford gave up nine hits, but she was at her best with runners on base.
Summit stranded 14 runners to Farragut’s seven.
Flatford struck out eight and walked three.
“We wouldn’t be here without her, to be honest, but tonight it took all of us,” offered Green.
“I’m sure she’s getting somewhat tired. She has pitched every game in the postseason.”
Flatford takes a 21-0 record into Friday’s championship game.