In the driver’s seat

Published 1:02 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Riverside’s Kellen Edwards swings for a two-run single in the first inning of the Knights’ 12-2 win over Southside Tuesday at Riverside High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

WILLIAMSTON — With Southside nipping at its heels in the race to the top of the Four Rivers Conference, Riverside took a huge step towards locking down its first conference title in school history on Tuesday as it took advantage of eight Seahawks’ errors to win 12-2.

Heading into the final week of the regular season Southside (17-4, 9-4), who beat the Knights (16-6, 11-2) in the team’s first meeting of the year, needed a win on Tuesday to stay in the hunt for the conference crown. With the loss, the Seahawks must now will focus trying to get as high a playoff seed as possible.

Knights coach Richie Ange was not 100 percent sure his team clinched the conference championship with the win, but conceded that the victory puts the Knights in the drivers seat with one game to go.

“We are proud to at least get a tie for the conference championship. I think we have it outright but I still have to check the records,” Ange said. “That was one of our goals when we started the season off and I’m proud of the girls for working hard and achieving that goal.”

In a showdown between to of the area’s top pitchers, Caroline Tetterton was able to best Savannah Mumford Tuesday as she pitched all seven innings allowing five hits and two runs while striking out five and walking one.

Mumford, who was named the WDN pitcher of the year as a freshman last season, pitched 6 1-3 innings allowing five hits and seven runs while fanning five batters and walking two.

While Mumford threw a nice game, the Seahawks struggled behind her as the team’s eight errors prove extremely costly.

“I think we made seven or eight errors and when you make seven or eight errors you’re going to lose the game, especially against a team like Riverside,” Southside coach John Lohman said.

An injury to shortstop Chris Smith (shoulder) forced Lohman to realign his infield prior to the game.

“We had to put a girl in who hadn’t played much at second base and move a girl to shortstop that usually plays second,” Lohman said. “I think that just makes everybody feel a little bit uneasy and maybe they felt a little bit more pressure that they have to make every play. It wasn’t just errors at second and short … It was a team effort on the errors.”

The errors haunted Southside right from the start as Riverside’s Dasia Moore led off the game with a single and was joined on base by Madison Brandon who reached on an error. Moore would reach third when she advanced on an infield pop out. Both Moore and Brandon would score on a Kellen Edwards single to put the Knights up 2-0.

Southside answered in the top of the fourth when a walk to Macy Paramore was followed by back-to-back singles by Marlin Edwards and Sondra Sparks to set the stage for a Megan Smith RBI single. After a Bailey Hobbs strikeout, Katie Laughinghouse knotted the game at two with an RBI base hit.

With bases loaded and one out, Tetterton worked her way out of the inning by fanning Shelby Patterson for the second out, while the third out was recorded by Moore, who made a nice catch on a well-hit Mumford ball to center field.

The Knights broke the 2-2 stalemate in the bottom of the fourth when both Rachel Baker and Rhonda Manning started off the inning by reaching on errors, the second of which left runners at second and third. After Mumford got Joanna Askew to fly out to center, Tetterton drove in what proved to be the game-winning run via sacrifice fly.

The score would stay at 3-2 up until the bottom of the sixth when a Riverside nine-run rally was fueled by four errors.

“We took advantage of some of their mistakes but the score does not indicate the type of game that it was,” Ange said. “We are two very equal teams. If we played 10 games I think each team would win five.”

The Seahawks will look to bounce back Thursday when it hosts Northside, while the Knights will close out the regular season hosting South Creek.

Southside — 000 200 0 — 2 5 8

Riverside — 200 109 X — 12 9 1

WP: Caroline Tetterton; LP: Savannah Mumford

Hitting: S ą Savannah Mumford 1-3, Marlin Edwards 1-3 (R), Sondra Sparks 1-3, Megan Smith (RBI), Katie Laughinghouse 1-3 (RBI); R ą Dasia Moore 2-5 (RBI, R), Courtney Wynn 2-4 (3B, 2 RBI, R), Kellen Edwards 1-3 (2 RBI, R), Rachel Baker 1-4, Kelly Drew 1-2 (RBI, R), Sam Lilley 1-3 (2 RBI, R), Caroline Tetterton 1-4 (RBI).