NC softball battles to extras, but denied tourney slot

NC softball battles to extras, but denied tourney slot

By MIKE MONTFORT  

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—  Angelina claimed the Region XIV Tournament’s final available qualifying spot Saturday, but it took extra innings for the Roadrunners to deny the battling Bulldogs of a Game 1 comeback victory.

NCACSB1The Roadrunners scored an 11-9 win in eight innings that eliminated Navarro and kept coach Jessica Karenke-Burke’s Bulldogs out of the tournament for a second consecutive season.

The Bulldogs, however, bounced back and closed their season with a 6-1 nightcap victory over AC that left Navarro with a 26-22 season record and a fifth-place 15-13 mark in East Zone play.

GAME 1: Angelina 11-9, (8 innings)
Navarro led 4-3 after 6 innings of an intense pitching duel Angelina’s Shelby Mixon and Navarro’s Chelsea Vandiver.

Angelina erupted for five seventh-inning runs to lead 8-4.  After shortstop Nikki Whitehead’s leadoff walk and rightfielder Jessica Husband’s bunt single, Kiriany Hornberger ripped a two-run double. Designated player Brette Kohring and third baseman Rachel Agnello laced run-coring singles to highlight a 10-batter inning.

Navarro, playing its seventh doubleheader within two weeks, mounted a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game.  Sophomore Taylor Goulet’s one-out, two-run single scored Kamo Wells and Krissy Johnson and sent Zoe Miranda (walk) to second base.  Sophomore Brylee Dickinson hit an opposite-field double down the rightfield line that enabled Miranda and Goulet to score.

With one out in the Angelina eighth, Hornberger singled and back-to-back doubles from second baseman Emily Cernosek and Kohring re-established a 10-8 lead.  Catcher Taylor Lenggenhager’s two-out single brought home the third run.

In Navarro’s eighth, Miranda’s sacrifice fly brought home Wells, who had reached on an error.  The Bulldogs got Johnson and Wells aboard representing the tying runs, but reliever Leigh Luker successfully fielded a 1-3 comebacker to end the game.

GAME 1 — Angelina 11, Navarro 9 (8 innings)

Angelina     100 200 53 –11-15 (LOB 9)
Navarro      200 200 41 — 9-13 (LOB 10)
W: Leigh Luker.  L: Makenzie Miller.

GAME 2 — Navarro 6, Angelina 1
Right-hander Kaitlynn Kaminski pitched a three-hitter and leftfielder Maddie Moore knocked in four runs with a double and a three-run sixth-inning homer.

NCACSB3Moore’s two-out double in the second inning brought home Brylee Dickinson with the third run off Angelina starter Kacy Capps.  Moore padded the lead with her third home run of the season — a one-out blast with Dickinson and Elisa Suarez scoring ahead.

Kaminski set down the first nine Roadrunners in order before a fourth-inning leadoff single by Nikki Gonzales.  Rachel Agnello laced a fifth-inning leadoff single to right, but was stranded as the Bulldogs turned a 6-4-3 double play.

Angelina averted a shutout in the sixth as Hornberger doubled home Gonzales, who walked.

GAME 2
Angelina     000 001 0 —  1-  3-4 (LOB 4)
Navarro      030 003 X — 6-10-0 (LOB 7)