Panthers win pitchers' duel|Northside rallies to top rival Southside

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, April 14, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Southside didn’t make many mistakes when it hosted rival Northside on Tuesday, but its lone error proved costly in the Seahawks’ 4-0 loss to their Four Rivers Conference rival Panthers.
Southside’s freshman hurler Savannah Mumford locked horns with Panthers’ junior ace Lillyann Arnold in a fantastic pitchers’ duel that led to the two teams being deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the seventh and final inning.
Mumford and the Seahawks’ defense and been just about perfect leading up to the top of the seventh, but a few hiccups proved to be the difference.
Mumford, who scattered five hits and struck out six batters in her complete game defeat, had issued only one walk in the first six innings of play. However, the young ace walked three of the first five batters she faced in the seventh.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Northside’s Ashleigh Cornelius drew a walk that pushed teammate Sara Cradle, who was pinch running for Hannah Bowen, to third base and Daniel Oliver to second. With that base on balls, Cradle became the first runner for either team to touch third base up to that point.
The stage was set for Arnold to help her own cause as the Panthers leadoff batter stepped into the batter’s box with the sacks packed and two outs. Mumford appeared to get herself out of the jam as she got Arnold to bounce a grounder back to her, but the Seahawks’ pitcher’s throw to first base was off the mark and allowed all three runners to score.
Arnold advanced to second on the error and was brought home when Amanda Daw knocked a single in the next at bat to make it a 4-0 ball game.
Mumford regrouped and got Harris to strike out to end the inning, but the damage was already done.
“The girls just kept battling,” Panthers coach Louise Beirne said. “They were moving up in the box and trying different things. (Mumford) did a good job of keeping our girls off balance, but we told them to just keep trying to put the ball in play, that was the key.”
Holding a 4-0 lead in the seventh, Arnold did what she had done all game and silenced the Southside batters in order.
On the day Arnold allowed only one hit, a soft bouncer up the middle by Valerie Ruffin, while striking out three and walking none.
“Lillyann does a great job, but the big thing that’s going on right now is that the team is jelling,” Beirne said. “They are a family and they love each other … There is 18 of them this year and they are starting to jell, and they don’t give up.”
Southside coach John Lohman said he knew Tuesday’s matchup would be a tough one.
“I knew this would be a tight game and that we would have trouble hitting Lillyann,” Lohman said. “And just the longer you don’t hit and the longer you don’t score everybody begins to get tight. We had the opportunity to end their at bat but I just think there was too much pressure.”
This season both teams are sporting rosters that are littered with freshman as Northside started three on Tuesday and Southside four.
While the Seahawks’ leaned heavily on their freshman ace Mumford, the Panthers relied on third baseman Caroline Slade just as much.
Slade had phenomenal night in the field making nine of the team’s 21 outs, displaying a strong arm and a reliable glove.
Panthers storm past Seahawks
The excitement and drama that was displayed in the softball game was lacking in the baseball matchup as Northside topped Southside 15-2 in five innings.
Pitcher Brandon Marsh picked up the win for the Panthers and also went 3-4 from the plate and scored three runs. Teammate Tyler Woolard went 2-4 for Northside and knocked in two runs.
Billy Harding led Southside from the plate as he went 2-2 with a double, while Terril Moore was 1-2 with a run.
Northside 000 000 4 4 5 2
Southside 000 000 0 0 1 1
WP: Lilyann Arnold; LP: Savannah Mumford
N — Arnold 1-4 (R), Amanda Daw 2-4 (RBI), Elizabeth Harris 1-4, Jena Payne 1-3; S — Valerie Ruffin 1-2.