This time Northwestern wasn’t going to let a lead slip away.
After allowing Boiling Springs to earn a comeback victory over the weekend, the Trojans made the most of its advantage and held on late to take a 4-2 road victory against the Bulldogs in the 4A upper state softball playoff bracket on Wednesday night.
Northwestern will face region rival Clover to determine the upper state championship on Friday.
“We were fortunate to get back here,” Trojans coach Bryan Smith said. “We beat a good Fort Mill team. We were glad to get the opportunity to come back here. It’s a tough place to play. We made a couple of errors that we feel like we shouldn’t have made the first game. We cleaned it up this game and put a couple more runs on the board, too.”
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The game was scoreless through three innings until Delia Fields recorded a RBI single in the top of the fourth. Annie Green then scored on a throwing error to give Northwestern a 2-0 lead.
The Trojans increased the lead to 4-0 in the sixth as Rachel Marion smacked a two-run double down the left field line.
“The two-run double was really big,” Smith said. “It gave us a little more cushion so that something like the seventh inning could happen, and we’d still be alive.”
Boiling Springs tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh. Calli Richards and Olivia Matsuda walked before senior Myranda Dills singled both home. McKenna Quinn then singled to put runners at first and second, but the Trojans got out of the jam on a game-ending fly ball to center field.
“I thought we had it,” Dills said. “I’ve had a great four years being here. Each year has been something special with these girls.”
Kori Wancheck picked up the win tossing a complete game. She gave up six hits with eight strikeouts.
“It felt really good to come back,” Wancheck said. “I know I have a good team behind me. All eight players are really good. We work hard in practice. I know that anything they can catch or field, so they have my back.”
Jordan Smith, Brooke Palmer and Webber Roberts each recorded hits for the Bulldogs. Boiling Springs left a runner at third base in the first inning and the bases loaded in the fourth.
“I thought we never gave up,” Bulldogs coach Randy Piazza said. “I thought we had a shot, but it didn’t happen. The kids still did good. (Wancheck) is a player, and she’s automatic at the plate. This is tough with these seniors. They’ve been here through all of it, and there have been some really good years. I think next year will be another one.”
High School Baseball
Northwestern 7, T.L. Hanna 4: After letting a three-run lead slip away, the Trojans (19-8) stormed back to end the Yellow Jackets’ season in Anderson, on Wednesday in 4A baseball playoff action.
The Trojans retook the lead in the top of the fifth inning with three runs and used a long ball to plate another run in the sixth, ending all scoring in the game.
TLH ends the year at 21-9.
Northwestern will play J.L. Mann on Friday in the Upper State championship series, having to win two games to claim the title.