By Michael Kinney
Marissa Frolich closed out her high school fastpitch career on a high note. The Carl Albert graduate helped the Large West squad come back twice to beat the Large East 15-12 at the All-State Fastpitch Game Saturday at Oklahoma Christian University.
But more importantly for Frolich, the experience of being around players she has competed against stood out the most.
“I honestly like this experience,” Frolich said. “It’s kind of fun to see all these different girls get together and just play. Girls we’ve played against for four years and it’s kind of amazing that they all just get together and we bond like this. I had a lot of fun.”
Joining Frolich on the Large West Squad were Choctaw’s Bella Cabral (University of Virginia) and Bella Butler (McLennan Community College). Before the game started, Yellowjacket’s coach Lindsey Mudgett got to walk both her players to home plate as they were introduced to fans.
“The Allstate game is here for those seniors that had a good career and for their accolades and it’s a big accomplishment,” Mudgett said. “Bella Cabrera and Bella Butler, there are not two players that are any more deserving of it.”
Cabral started the all-state game at third base but also saw time at first base. While Butler got work on the mound, she also drove in a run at the plate.
When Mudgett looks back on the career of both players, she talked about how much they meant to the Choctaw softball program.
“Obviously Butler on the mound, she was our go-to picture for the three years that she was there,” Mudgett said. “Just a great career, great success that she had there. Also, a leader for us. And the cool thing about her is that she just wasn’t someone on the mound. She made an impact in our batting order as well. Bella Cabral is another good athlete who’s going D-I. She had tremendous success. Unfortunately, her career was interrupted a little bit by an injury with her ACL. But she conquered through it and really pulled through it and I think she became a better athlete and a better person going through those struggles and having to have that endurance and that perseverance of making it through.”
The all-state game itself got off to a rocky start for the West as they found themselves trailing 4-0 in the top of the first. However, they rolled back a took an 8-4 advantage in the third inning.
At that point, it looked like they had put the East away. However, a seven-run outburst put the East back on top 12-9 in the top sixth inning.
The players on the West could have just played out the rest of the game, which lasted two and half hours and accepted the loss. Instead, their offense lit up and they poured in six runs in the bottom of the inning. The eventual game-winning hit was a 3-run double by Piedmont’s Karrissa Fiegener, the 2022-23 Gatorade Player of the Year.
Frolich, who is heading to Seminole State, pitched in relief for the Large West in their victory.
“I was pretty nervous coming in. I’m not going to lie,” Frolich said. “But I don’t know what I was expecting it to be. We all had fun. I wanted to have fun out of this. I’m playing with all the girls that I’ve played with forever, so I really enjoyed it.”