Brooke Foster’s perfectly executed squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth scored Meredith Cudd the winning run and Northwestern edged Lugoff-Elgin 5-4 in the Class 3-AAAA playoffs Wednesday at Northwestern.
Cudd, who was placed on second base to start the inning, moved to third on a sacrifice by Tiana Lewter.
The win marked a dramatic comeback for Northwestern. They lost the first game 4-1, and fell behind 3-0 in the second contest before rallying to win the District III title and move to the Upper State Tournament on Saturday. Lugoff-Elgin would have had to beat Northwestern in both games in order to advance.
“We were very resilient tonight,” said Northwestern head coach Bryan Smith. “We really fought back after getting down in the first inning of the second game. I am so very proud of these girls.”
The Demons scored three runs in the top of first in the second game. Baleigh Lunsford’s two-run single was the big hit.
Northwestern battled back with two in the bottom of the second. A bases loaded walk to Kori Wancheck and Rachel Marion’s single got the runs home.
Hannah Cole’s inside the park home run in the fifth gave the Demons a 4-2 lead, but Northwestern rallied and tied the game in the bottom of the frame. Daina Chase and Marion each had run-producing singles.
Lugoff-Elgin won the opener 4-1. The Demons scored all of their runs in the sixth with Kelly Graham’s two-run single being the key hit.
The Trojans only run came in the seventh on Marion’s home run to left.
The victory sends Northwestern on the road on Saturday against either Mauldin or Dorman.
“We are still in there, “ said Smith. “These young ladies have worked so hard to get where we are.”