‘Hawks win in extras

Published 9:58 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Southside’s Savannah Mumford fires a pitch to a Plymouth batter during the Seahawks’ 10-7 extra-inning victory over the Vikings on Tuesday at Plymouth High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

PLYMOUTH — Southside dodged a bullet in the bottom of the ninth and then returned fire with a three-run rally in the top of the tenth to beat Plymouth 10-7 on Tuesday.

Holding a three-run lead in the bottom of the 10th, Seahawks’ ace Savannah Mumford retired the side in order to improve her team’s record 7-1 (2-1).

Mumford, the reigning WDN Pitcher of the Year, threw all 10 innings and struck out 17 batters to get the win.

Tied at 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth, the Vikings No. 3 hitter Brooke Gurganus led off with a walk and was joined on base by cleanup hitter Makayla Mizell, who was intentionally walked.

After a meeting at the mound by Southside coach John Lohman, Mumford buckled down and struck out Diamond Davis for the first out of the inning. Mumford then turned a double play when she snared a Makenzie Mizell come-backer and spun around and fired the ball to second base to pick off Gurganus, who could not get back to the bag in time.

After escaping the jam, Southside captured the momentum and never looked back.

Mumford, who opened the game with a home run, led off the top of the 10th with a walk and stole second base. Megan Smith beat out an infield single to reach first base, which set the stage for No. 3 hitter Chris Morris, who blasted a Brooke Gurganus pitch deep into left-center for the game-winning inside the park home run.

It appeared the Seahawks had taken a 10-7 lead, but the home plate umpire ruled that Smith did not touch third base on her way home and was called out despite a lengthy protest from Lohman.

Southside would pick up that third run one batter later when Sondra Sparks smashed her  own inside-the-park homer to go up 10-7 over their fellow Four Rivers Conference rivals.

After the game Lohman said that while he was not pleased with the team’s fielding, he was happy to see his club be able to pull out a road win in a game that had playoff-like intensity.

“Errors will kill you, that’s my first thought, you just can’t make six errors,” Lohman said. “But I’m glad we hung in there. We got the runs when we needed when we needed them and we came up big our last at-bat.”

The upstart Vikings, led by first-year coach Chris Kelly, gave the traditionally strong Southside a good run. Kelly said that, that kind of effort has been there all season.

“We’ve been in every conference game we have played, the girls have fought really hard,” Kelly said. “It’s another story of just letting a good team hang around and we got bit by it in the end when they hit a home run that would have been (over the fence) in any other park … We fought hard every inning and I’m proud of the girls.”

The Vikings forced extra innings when they rallied from a 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth.

Gurganus, who was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, knocked in the game-tying run with two outs before Makayla Mizell blasted an RBI triple to take a 7-6 lead into the seventh.

Refusing to concede, Southside knotted the score at 7 when Macy Paramore blooped an RBI single to right to score Bailey Hobbs, who was just fast enough to beat the throw to home plate. Hobbs injured her leg on the play and did not return to the game.

Southside will be back in action on Friday when its hosts Jacksonville, while Plymouth will play at Riverside.

Southside 104 100 100 3 č 10 14 6

Plymouth 101 302 000 0 č 7 11 2

WP: Savannah Mumford; LP: Brooke Gurganus

Hitting: S čSavannah Mumford 2-5 (HR), Megan Smith 2-5, Chris Morris 1-5 (HR, 2 RBI), Marlin Edwards 1-5, Sondra Sparks 1-4, Bailey Hobbs 1-4, Macy Paramore 3-5, Katie Laughinghouse 3-5;  P č Tiffany McKimmy 2-5 (2 R), Megan Kelly 2-5 (2 R, 2 RBI), Brooke Gurganus (3-4 (R, 3 RBI), Makayla Mizell 2-3 (R), Desire Chesson 1-5