High School Softball
Lady Vikings storm back, buck elimination
A first-round GHSA state-playoff doubleheader between the No. 2 and No. 4 softball teams in Class AAAAA followed a see-saw pattern that left both Northgate and Greenbrier not completely satisfied during alternating 11-run outbursts that set up a deciding game today at Northgate.
The Lady Vikings watched a pair of one-run leads evaporate in Game 1 and then struggled to complete a remarkable rally in the bottom of the seventh of a slugfest that left the potential tying and winning runs on base in an 11-10 loss.
But facing elimination and a potential fourth consecutive loss that could have equally ended the 2013 season much earlier than hoped, Northgate responded with a 15-hit outburst in Game 2 for a 11-2 victory over the Lady Wolfpack (26-7).
Northgate (22-6-1) needs one more win today at home if it expects to keep hopes of clinching another trip to the Elite 8 in Columbus alive.
In the must-win situation, Northgate responded with four runs in the top of the second to pull away from a 1-1 tie.
From, there the Lady Vikings led the rest of the way holding Greenbrier to just seven hits and also taking advantage of three errors.
Three different players had three hits en route to the win for Northgate, but it was third baseman Jenna Pealor who came through with four RBIs and also smacked a triple. Leadoff hitter Brenna Skalski had also had three hits and an RBI and scored three runs to help send the first-round playoff series into a third and deciding game. Jessica Hoak also had three hits and scored twice.
The Lady Vikings also picked up some offensive punch from Ebonee Echols and Emily Heath who drove in two runs each in the night cap.
Brittany Futral also helped the offensive cause for the Lady Viking by driving in a run.
Pitcher McKenzie Peace helped the Lady Vikings regroup with the victory in the second game.
Peace gave up seven hits, but allowed just one earned run.
The scored the first run of the game in the top of the first, and didn’t allow the final Greenbrier run to cross the plate until the bottom of the second to cut the Northgate lead to 8-2.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Greenbrier fell behind 1-0, but clawed its way back in the game with five run explosions in the fifth and sixth.
Lauren Deloach led the Lady Vikings’ offense in the first game with three RBIs.
Despite taking the loss, Peace had six strikeouts in the first game.
The winner of tonight’s game moves on to play the winner of the Glynn Academy-Harris County series.