Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The Northwestern Trojans did not forget, and they were not about to let recent history repeat itself Tuesday night at South Pointe High School.
Monday night at Northwestern, the Trojans let a two-run seventh inning lead slip away and fell to the Lancaster Bruins. This time they survived a furious seventh-inning rally by the Stallions to force extra innings and outlasted South Pointe 5-3 in nine innings to get the hard-fought rivalry win.
“Obviously, yesterday was a really tough loss for us,” Trojans coach Brian Smith said. “And turning around and playing the next day, you find out what you’re made of. And playing over here, we know they’re going to give us their best effort, and we got it and withstood it. Proud of the girls, really proud of them.”
The Trojans (9-5) took the lead in the seventh inning when a one-out error at third base allowed Daina Chase to reach. Chase advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and Madison Jeter brought her home with a base hit to give Northwestern their first lead 2-1.
The Stallions would not go quietly in the seventh despite having only three hits against Trojan flame-thrower Kori Wancheck to that point. With one out, Chelsea Jordan walked and pinch-hitter Kya Currence confidently laced a double to right field to bring Jordan all the way around and even the score. Currence advanced to third on the wild throw home to represent the potential winning run with one out. Lindsay Bradley hit a squibber in front of the plate and Wancheck calmly fielded it and ran towards Currence, who was halfway down the line. She tossed to Rachel Marion at home who tagged the sliding Currence. Marion then alertly ran towards Bradley, who was halfway between first and second and caught her in a run-down to send the game to the eighth.
The Trojans had to survive potential disaster in the eighth. With runners on first and second and one out, it was ruled that the second baseman Chase did not tag the runner after fielding a grounder and that loaded the bases. Stephanie Markfort lined one up the middle, but Wancheck snatched it out of the air and fired to third for a double play.
In the ninth inning, play starts with a runner on second base. Chase walked for the Trojans and Jeter reached on an infield hit that was bobbled at first to load the bases. Wancheck followed with her fourth hit of the game and second and third RBI to provide the eventual winning margin. She reached base all five at-bats in addition to the two game-saving defensive plays and pitching all nine innings.
Wancheck struck out 13 while allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks. Marion brought Wancheck in with another solid base hit. South Pointe scored on an error in the ninth but could get no more.
“We know we’re going to be in the game when Kori’s pitching and we know she’s going to give us good at-bats,” Smith said. “We know we are going to have a chance with Kori out there in the circle.”
Jamie Rankin went the distance on the Stallion mound and struck out nine. She also got South Pointe on the board first with a fourth-inning two-out bloop hit over second base to bring in Evan Sherer, who got the first Stallion hit on a dribbler in front of the plate. Sherer stole second to get in scoring position.
Northwestern answered in the fifth when Chase walked and scored on Wancheck’s third hit of the game. Chase reached base four times and scored three runs.