ND Softball – North State Champs
By Brad Greer
Throughout the 2009 season, pitching and defense have been the main catalyst for the North Delta softball team.
Tuesday was no different as the Green Wave opened the North State AA tournament with a pair of nailbiting wins to advance to the championship round later on in the evening
After receiving a bye in the first game, the Green Wave (18-5), scratched across two runs in the bottom of the fifth and final inning to take a 3-1 victory over Carroll. Then after a one game rest, North Delta squared off against Leake Academy in the winners’ bracket final. The end result was a 5-0 win over the Rebels and a spot in Saturday’s Class A State tournament in Flowood.
In the first game, Carroll jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning off of North Delta starting pitcher Mary Jane Morrow. The lead was short-lived however as the Green Wave knotted the score in the bottom half of the frame on back-to-back singles by Linsey Hebert and Vikki Johnson. Laci DuBravec then slapped a two-out single to plate Hebert.
Carroll responded in the top of the second by loading the bases off Morrow with two outs, but senior left-hander Samantha Massoth came on in relief to get Casey Beavers to ground out to retire the side. The rest of the game belonged to the homestanding Green Wave.
With the game deadlocked at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth and the mandatory 1 hour-15 minute time limit fast approaching, Hillari Plummer led off the inning with a single then advanced to second on Hebert’s sacrifice bunt. Johnson then followed with her third single of the game to put runners on the corners.
Bradi Beard then stepped to the plate and hit a ground ball to the third baseman who threw wildly past first allowing both Plummer and Johnson to score the go ahead runs. The game was then called one batter later after Dubravec grounded out for the second out of the inning.
Massoth pitched 3.1 innings in the circle to pick up the pitching win.
In the second game, North Delta broke open a 1-0 lead by scoring four runs in the top of the seventh as Massoth pitched a complete game shutout.
Julianna Morrow began the rally with a one-out single. Pinch-hitter Hastings Neal laid down a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt to advance Morrow to second with two outs. After Plummer singled to put runners on first and third, Hebert and Johnson delivered back-to-back doubles to put the game out of reach.
Plummer and Morrow each had three hits as North Delta registered eight hits in the game. Beard also added a hit with a sixth-inning double.
Massoth scattered five hits while walking one and fanning one batter.