Seahawks slide past Panthers

Published 9:49 pm Friday, May 20, 2011

Southside’s Chris Morris (10) steals second base during the Seahawks’ 8-6 win over Northside in the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs Friday at Southside High School. Morris ended the game going 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Northside shortstop Danielle Oliver is pictured to the left. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

CHOCOWINITY — With its season on the line, Northside trailed by four and rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh but could not go the distance as Southside was able to hang on and win 8-6 to put an end to its rival’s season and advance to the third round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs.
These two Four Rivers Conference teams clashed for the third time this year and the No. 2 Seahawks (20-4) continued to have the No. 4 Panthers (12-10) number as they were able to win all three contests.
With a combined nine errors, Friday night’s game may not have been the prettiest of the three but it was the most important as each team battled for the right to advance to the District Round of the playoffs, which is where Southside is headed and will play the winner of the No. 1 Princeton (18-5 Carolina)-No. 3 Perquimans (14-7) matchup.
Of those nine Es, Southside committed only two of them. That, combined with the usually brilliance of ace Savannah Mumford, and some savvy base running by all the Seahawks, allowed the team to overcome a 4-0 third-inning deficit on Friday and lock down a victory.
In the top of the third Northside dew first blood as Jordan Woolard and Caroline Slade each recorded RBI singles during a two-out, four-run rally that was prolonged by a Southside error.
Woolard finished the game 2-4 with two RBIs while Slade went 3-3 with a triple and two RBIs to lead the Panthers.
The Seahawks responded immediately with a five-run rally that was fueled by three Northside errors. Chris Morris, Sondra Sparks and Macy Paramore each drove in runs to help Southside capture the lead.
Morris, Sparks and Paramore recorded two hits each and were the only Seahawks to get hits off Arnold.
Southside tacked on another run in the fifth thanks to some clever base running. Morris, who reached on an error and stole second base, proceeded to take third as Edwards struck out. However, the ball was not held on to by catcher Jena Payne, and as she threw to first to complete the strikeout Morris ran home and scored to put the Hawks up 6-4.
More aggressive base running led to two more Seahawks’ runs in the sixth. With Bailey Hobbs on third base, Mumford drew a walk and continued to go to second to entice a rundown. The move worked as the Panthers’ defense tried to get Mumford out at second as Hobbs scored. Mumford would go on to steal third base then take home on a delayed steal.
“We (benefited) from a couple of errors and got some hits with it,” Southside coach John Lohman said. “We made some adjustments at the plate to what (Northside pitcher) Lilyann (Arnold) was doing, she was a little bit different from the other two times we saw her. We put the bat on the ball. Some of them were strong hits and some of them were bloops. They had their defense deep so we were able to stretch what would normally be singles into doubles.”
The Panthers fought hard in the seventh as Woolard and Slade each drove in a run but they could not muster enough firepower to go the distance.
“I thought we played fairly well but I thought we had a few innings were we didn’t play as good as we should have. It was a good and exciting game and I wish them the best in the playoffs” Northside coach Jack Beirne said. “In the playoffs he who makes the least amount of mistakes wins the ball game, and we just made too many.”

Northside 004 000 2 — 6 7 7
Southside 005 012 X — 8 6 2
WP: Savannah Mumford; LP Lilyann Arnold
Hitting: NS — Jena Payne 1-3 (R), Britney Alligood 1-3, Jordan Woolard 2-4 (2 RBI, 2 R), Caroline Slade 3-3 (3B, 2 RBI); SS — Chris Morris 2-3 (RBI, 2 R), Sondra Sparks 2-3 (RBI, R), Macy Paramore 2-3 (RBI).