Seahawks sweep Panthers on diamond

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2009

By By GREG KATSKI, Staff Writer
YEATESVILLE — The Southside softball team beat Northside (3-5, 0-2) behind a barrage of bunts Tuesday night in Yeatesville, 4-2.
Senior first baseman Mandi Harding delivered the game-winning tapper with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, driving in Caitlin Bogart and Kristin Ayers on a smooth push-bunt down the first base line.
After the game, Harding admitted the tight situation she was thrust into was nerve-wracking.
As Harding approached the plate, Southside Head Coach John Lohman gave her the sign for the squeeze.
Lohman said he debated calling the play, but knew his senior leader could lay one down.
As it turned out, the ball scooted past Northside pitcher Amanda Bierne, and squarely between the Panthers’ first and second basemen.
The Seahawks seventh-inning rally started with a shot up the middle from Caitlin Bogart off of Panthers ace Bierne. Kristin Ayers followed with a bunt single. The bunts kept coming against the hard-throwing Bierne, as Shakeria Lomax laid down a fielder’s choice bunt, advancing Bogart and Ayers.
D.D. Stanley struck out swinging, one of 10 strikeouts in four innings of work for Bierne, before Harding laid down the game-deciding dribbler.
In her first game back from injured reserve, Bierne recorded the loss, giving up three runs in four innings of relief work. When the flamethrower took over for Northside starting pitcher Whit Lewis, who pitched three innings of one run ball, the Seahawks knew they would have to take a more aggressive approach to the plate.
Northside Head Coach Louise Beirne thinks her team’s own failure to lay down bunts and penchant for making errors in key situations cost the game.
The errors first came for Northside in the second inning. After a leadoff single by Kellie Hardison, third baseman Cameron Waters’ throw to second sailed on a routine grounder by Becky Poole. Hardison scored and Poole advanced to second.
The Panthers answered in the bottom of the third, thanks to a leadoff double by Kassie Sasnett and run-scoring single by Amanda Daw.
Northside’s Bierne cruised through the fourth and fifth after coming on in relief for Lewis, before she was done in by more mistakes.
Bierne struck out Harding to lead off the inning, but Harding made it to first on a passed ball. After a sacrifice bunt by Bailey Hobbs, Emily Smith delivered a run-scoring single for the 2-1 lead.
The Panthers would tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth before Southside’s rally.
The Seahawks’ Smith stood as the winning pitcher, logging seven strong innings of two-run ball. She credited some solid fielding behind her for the win.
Southside saw some stellar defense from third baseman Stanley, in particular.
The Seahawks (5-5, 4-1) return to conference play Thursday at Camden, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Southside baseball wins
The Southside baseball team took a win from Northside, 8-5, on Tuesday night thanks to a strong pitching effort from Eric Boyd.
Boyd pitched a complete game, giving up five runs on six hits, while plunking three. Three of Northside’s runs came in a sloppy seventh inning from Southside that featured bobbled balls and two hit batsmen by Boyd.
The Seahawks (6-5, 4-2) were anchored on offense by Jamie Blackard, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
A day after being mercy-ruled by the Washington Pam Pack, Northside (3-8, 2-4) took another tough conference loss.