AUSTIN — Comebacks had never been an essential part of the Crawford Lady Pirates’ vocabulary because they never needed them before reaching the Class 2A final four.

Forced to rally for the second straight day, the Lady Pirates proved they’re exceptional when situations look most dire.

No. 1 Crawford turned desperation into joy as it overcame a late four-run deficit to win the 2A state softball championship in an 8-7 thriller over No. 2 Thorndale in eight innings before an overflow crowd of 1,208 Thursday afternoon at McCombs Field.

Makey Dunbar delivered the walk-off hit over Thorndale leftfielder Emilee Baker to score Grace Powell with the winning run with two outs in the eighth.

Pitching in relief, Dunbar retired nine straight Thorndale hitters in the final three innings to earn the championship game MVP. It was her 18th birthday, and her teammates serenaded her during the postgame championship celebration.

“This is my best birthday gift ever,” Dunbar said. “In my entire life I’ll never have a better one. It’s awesome.”