OKLAHOMA CITY — Be it with a bat, or a ball, big or small, Fort Gibson has had a habit of doing this.

When they could have rolled over and died, they came back shooting, or swinging.

A little under two months removed from a state basketball championship, here comes a slowpitch trophy for the display case.

Surviving a regional consolation battle last week, then a harried eight-inning semifinal battle Tuesday, the sixth-ranked Lady Tigers capped their day by running over No. 3 Heavener 22-4 to win the Class 5A championship, the school’s first in the sport since 1999.

The hard part was getting to the final, which they did in a 12-9 come-from-behind win over Perkins-Tryon. Once there, as Fort Gibson coach Scott Lowe said, it was like playing with house money.

They certainly got all the right shuffles.

Abbie Scott homered in a four-run first, then went grand slam one inning later. Baleigh James then hit a two-run shot, Makenzie Austin knocked a two-run double, then Maddi Jo Williams had a three-run blast.

Twelve runs in the second. A 16-0 hole. Game over.

James had a two-run shot in the third and Aubree Bell a three-run double. The game was called on the run-rule after three innings.

“I knew we were comfortable from the beginning,” said Scott, a senior. “What happens in the moment is what happens. We go out there knowing we have confidence in getting the job done.”

It was a decision concerning Bell that might well have lifted Fort Gibson into the finals. And it was done by Perkins coach David Griffin.

Bell had homered in her first at-bat as part of a three-run inning. That was all Fort Gibson would get until the seventh, which Austin led off with a walk.

Griffin then decided to give Bell a pass rather than hit into a challenging gusty wind blowing straight toward the plate. That made Williams the go-ahead run at the plate. She singled to load the bases, then with one out, back-to-back Perkins errors on balls hit at third by Mesa Gann and James opened the door. 

Hannah Thouvenel and Nia Polzin singled in runs around Lauren Bergman’s sacrifice fly, and Brittany Caster’s singled in the last run of a six-run surge.

Tatum Swink’s grand slam in the bottom of the inning sent it to extra innings.

But it didn’t faze Fort Gibson.

Gann’s RBI double regained the lead in the eighth, James pushed across two insurance runs on an infield error, and the fourth-ranked Demons (24-3) could get no more than an infield hit in the last of the eighth.

“People have been walking me all year,” said Bell, the other senior on the squad. “We preach base hit, base hit, and I believed in Maddi behind me and knew we would get the job done. We actually don’t care about home runs. That’s not part of our hitting philosophy.”

But it is a staple of their success.

Bell, Scott, Williams, James and Austin all hit two. Gann had one. Hannah Johnson, who with Thouvenel were part of the basketball team that won it with Lowe as Chuck London's newly hired assistant, also had one.

“We tend to throw high or make them chase a high pitch, but we really don’t intentionally walk hitters,” Lowe said. “Yeah, Aubree is a game-changer, so I understand that thinking. But you and I know we’ve got others who can do the same thing.

“Once we got that one under our belt, hitting into the wind and all, the girls felt good. We went into the (the championship) with the wind at our back and seriously, I think we hit the ball better in (the championship game than we have in any game this year.”

Fort Gibson (27-4) beat No. 9 McLoud 14-3 to start the day off. Austin, Bell and Williams hit consecutive solo home runs in the fourth to break open what was a 4-1 contest. McLoud finished 23-11.