For Seahawks, two titles twice as nice

Published 8:23 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2009

By Staff
By GREG KATSKI, Staff Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Two days after the Southside baseball team took its first-ever Atlantic Conference championship, the Lady Seahawks clinched at least a share of the conference title.
On a chilly Monday night, the Southside softball team beat the rival Northside Panthers in thrilling fashion, 2-1. The win sets up a showdown with Williamston today at 6 p.m. for the top seed in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state playoffs.
If the Seahawks (14-7, 11-2) lose today’s matchup, they will share the conference title with the Tigers, who sit at 10-3 in conference, but Williamston will receive the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, as it will hold the tie-breaker over Southside.
If Southside beats the Tigers at home tonight, it will win the conference outright for the second year in a row and get the top seed.
A loss at home to Northside on Monday night would’ve rendered today’s game less meaningful for the Seahawks, but Southside managed another close win over its biggest rival. The Seahawks came from behind in the top of the seventh to beat the Panthers at Northside earlier in the regular season, and took another win from the Panthers in the Northside/PCS Easter Tournament.
Southside got some more late-inning heroics on Monday night, but this time they were in the field, not at the plate.
With the Seahawks holding a 2-0 lead in the top of the seventh, Northside’s Cameron Waters reached first with one out on an uncharacteristic error by Southside’s second baseman.
Kelley Miller followed by lacing an offer from Southside starting pitcher Emily Smith for a single, moving Waters to third base. Northside catcher Jenna Payne moved Amanda Cornelius, running for Miller, over to second with a fielder’s choice.
With Southside up 2-0, runners at second and third, two outs and the top of the Panthers’ order coming up, Southside head coach John Lohman strolled out to talk to his young starting pitcher.
After the game, Lohman said he wanted to pitch around Northside leadoff hitter Amanda Daw, but Smith told her coach she wanted to go after Daw.
Daw smacked a hard hit to the right side of the infield and legged out the throw to first. On the play, Waters scored easily and Northside’s third base coach elected to send Cornelius home from second.
Seahawks right fielder Caitlin Bogart picked up the passed ball at first and threw a strike to catcher Shakira Lomax, who applied the sure-tag on Cornelius.
Lomax immediately jumped up from the plate and ran to celebrate with her teammates.
The Seahawks scored their only runs on the game in the first inning, thanks to some costly mistakes by the Panthers.
Southside leadoff hitter Kristin Ayers started the inning with a walk, and Lomax followed with a single.
With runners on first and second and no outs, D.D. Stanley struck out, but during the at-bat
Ayers and Lomax advanced on a passed ball. Two more passed balls scored the runners without another hit in the inning.
Bogart, who had a couple of stellar plays in right field for the Seahawks to go along with the outfield assist to end the game, said she was glad the girls got to celebrate a conference championship in such rewarding fashion.
And the conference wins kept coming, much to the delighted surprise of Lohman.
Lohman said he lost his four best hitters and defensive players for last year’s conference championship team to graduation.