Seahawks take driver’s seat
CHOCOWINITY —The driver’s seat was up for grabs, and after Southside’s 3-1 win over South Creek, the Seahawks now have their hands firmly wrapped around the steering wheel as they drive toward a Four Rivers Conference championship.
Heading into Friday night’s contest area powers Southside and South Creek sat tied atop the standings with matching 9-2 conference records but a dominant 11-strikeout performance on the mound by Savannah Mumford, combined with the team’s ability to take advantage of two crucial Cougars’ errors, put the Seahawks alone in first place with two games left to play in the regular season.
“It was a good win against a good team and it puts us in the driver’s seat which is always nice,” Southside coach John Lohman said. “It’s always nice to be able to control your own destiny.”
With South Creek ace Lauren Sitterson facing off against Mumford, the reigning two-time WDN Pitcher of the Year, runs were hard to come by on Friday night.
After two scoreless innings, the Cougars struck first as leadoff hitter Lauren Ward walloped a Mumford offering deep to left field and quickly circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run as the ball rode the downward slope of the Southside outfield to put her team up 1-0.
South Creek did not hold on to the lead for long as the Seahawks struck for two runs in the home half of the inning.
Mumford, who went 3-3 at the plate, led off the inning with a base hit and was joined on the bags by Macy Paramore when South Creek misplayed her grounder to second. After Sitterson fanned Valerie Ruffin for the second out of the inning, Tia Hardy came to bat and hit a grounder to third that was fielded cleanly but missed its mark on the way to first base, allowing both Mumford and Paramore to reach home plate.
The error would prove to be the difference in the game.
“It was a big game and we didn’t step up to the plate,” South Creek coach Danny Webb said. “We didn’t perform like we should have.”
The Seahawks would tack on another run in the fifth when Mumford legged out an infield single, stole second, advanced to third on a Paramore ground out and reached home on a Hardy sac fly to right field.
With a lead in hand, Mumford closed out the contest and finished the game allowing three hits and three walks while striking out 11 in seven innings.
“She did great tonight, she was 3-3 and the winning pitcher and had 11 strikeouts against arguably one of the best teams in the East,” Lohman said.
Sitterson, who went 2-3 with two doubles, was equally effective on the mound as she allowed a mere four hits and struck out three in five innings of work.
Both teams will return to action on Tuesday as Southside hosts Riverside and South Creek plays at Northside.
South Creek 001 000 0 — 1 3 2
Southside 002 01X — 3 5 0
WP: Savannah Mumford; LP: Lauren Sitterson
Hitting: SC — Lauren Ward 1-4 (HR), Lauren Sitterson 2-3 (2 2B), Becky Rogers 1-1; SS – Savannah Mumford 3-3 (2 R), Valerie Ruffin 1-3, Sondra Sparks 1-2.