Cougars take tourney titlePublished 9:42pm Monday, April 1, 2013
PINETOWN — At the end of the day, it was the littlest girl on the field who came up with the biggest hit. Trailing 9-8 with two on and two out in the top of the seventh, South Creek’s diminutive slugger Reina Mondragon blasted a base-clearing triple into the left-center field gap to reclaim the lead for the Cougars and retain their title as Northside Easter tournament champions as they went on to beat the hosting Panthers 10-9.
The tourney championship was the second straight for South Creek, who with the win avenged a one-run loss to Northside that came right before the Easter break.
“I couldn’t be any more happier for these girls,” South Creek coach Patrick Herring said. “We had a sophomore in Reina come up to bat with two outs and got down in the count and she just hit one between left field and center and it just happen to drop between those two outfielders. She handled that pressure well.”
On Monday, Mondragon had a fire-breathing bat as she scorched the Panthers for a single, double and a triple, driving in three runs and scoring two from the leadoff spot.
“We’re very fortunate to have her,” Herring said. “As a freshman she was a little shaky at bat but she has gotten a lot more confident this year. She can slap, bunt and, obviously, she can hit the long ball.”
South Creek (7-2) also got big hits from Kim Mobley, who went 2-3 with two RBIs, while Tori Belt was 1-4 with and drove in two runs.
Cougars pitcher Taylor Moore entered the game at the start of the third inning with her team ahead 5-4, but was in line to take the loss after allowing four runs. However, the team’s seventh-inning rally took her off the hook and gave her the win.
The defeat was the first of the season for the Panthers (9-1), who trailed 8-6 going into the fifth but rallied for two runs to pull even before taking a 9-8 lead in the seventh.
“(South Creek) just played a better game then we did,” Panthers coach Jack Beirne said. “We had eight errors and we just didn’t do the things that we needed to do to win it and they did. That was the difference.”
Northside pitcher Kelsey Lang earned the loss as she allowed 10 runs and 13 hits, while striking out two batters in seven innings.
Northside hit the ball well as eight of the nine players in its lineup had hits. Lang went 3-3 at the plate, while Britney Alligood was 1-3 with three RBIs and Caroline Slade went 2-3 and blasted a solo over-the-fence home run in the second to tie the game up at 4 apiece.
South Creek 401 300 2 — 10 13
Northside 312 021 0 — 9 10
WP: Taylor Moore; LP: Kelsey Lang
Hitting: SC — Reina Mondragon 3-4 (2B, 3B, 2 RBI), Brittany Webb 2-4, Lauren Sitterson 1-4, Kim Mobley 2-3 (2B, 2 RBI), Tori Pelt 1-4 (3B, 2 RBI), Caroline James 1-4, Taylor Moore 1-3 (2B, RBI), Victoria Van Nortwick 1-4 (RBI), Alexis Craft 1-4; N —Mackensi Swain 1-2, Taonya Stanley 1-4, Kelsey Lang 3-3 (2R), Kendall Alligood 1-3 (2B, 2R), Britney Alligood 1-3 (2 RBI), Jordan Woolard 1-4, Caroline Slade 2-3 (HR, RBI)