Panthers advancePublished 7:47pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013
PINETOWN — Northside’s march towards Walnut Creek continued on Tuesday as the Panthers stormed past Riverside 11-1 in a surprising five inning rout to advance to the third round of the playoffs where they will face area and Four Rivers Conference rival Southside on Friday.
The No. 2 Panthers (16-4) delivered the knockout blow in the third inning as they used a six-run rally to claim a 6-1 lead over the fifth-seeded Knights (15-7), then stepped on the gas an added five more runs in the next two innings to accelerate into the third round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs for the first time in six years.
“We’re extremely excited. It’s been a long time since we’ve made it to the third round of the playoffs,” Northside coach Jack Beirne said. “It was good to see our bats come around. We sort of struggled our last two conference games but our bats decided to come back around.”
Northside tallied 11 runs on eight hits and took full advantage of two Riverside errors that allowed the floodgates to open during the decisive third inning.
The Panthers got production up and down their lineup as Kelsey Lang went 1-3 with three RBIs, Kendall Alligood was 1-3 with a two-run home run, Britney Alligood went 1-3 with two RBIs and Taonya Stanley finished 2-3 with two RBIs.
Lang would also get the win as the sophomore’s postseason brilliance continued as she allowed two hits and one run in five innings.
“She moved the ball around well,” Beirne said. “She was definitely hitting her locations.”
The Knights struck first as Dasia Moore reached base after being hit by a pitch and then scored on a Northside error during a run down in the second inning.
The Panthers committed two errors during that inning but regrouped in time to minimize the damage.
The same could not be for Riverside the following inning, as it too committed two errors, but failed to settle down.
Northside sent 12 batters to the plate during the bottom of the third and received an RBI single from Taonya Stanley and a bases loaded walk from Lang, before Alex Adams scored on a Lawson Perry wild pitch to go ahead 3-1. Two batters and one error later, Northside held a 4-1 lead before a Britney Alligood single plated the fifth and sixth runs of the inning.
“We just self-destructed,” Riverside coach Richie Ange said. “We gave up six runs and that’s hard to come back from. The way we count it, we had five errors that inning and we just should have done a better job defensively. That’s a good team over there and you just can’t give them anything.”
With Riverside on the ropes, Northside kept throwing punches as Kendall Alligood belted a two-run home run to center field in fourth to go up 8-1. In the fifth, Stanley drove in her second run of the game, setting the stage for Lang to knock a game-ending two-run single.
Riverside 010 00 — 1 2 2
Northside 006 23 — 11 8 2
WP: Kelsey Lang; LP: Lawson Perry
Hitting: RS — D’Aysa Wilson 1-3, Lawson Perry 1-2; NS — Taonya Stanley 2-3 (R, RBI), Kelsey Lang 1-3 (R, 3 RBI), Kendall Alligood (HR, 2 RBI), Britney Alligood 1-3 (2 RBI), Jordan Woolard 1-2 (1R), Alex Adams 2-3 (1R).