Northwest Whitfield High School’s softball team gave Heritage-Catoosa two extra outs in the fifth inning.
That was one too many.
The Lady Generals scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning after the Lady Bruins made a pair of two-out errors, and Heritage won 6-3 to clinch Sub-region 7B-4A’s regular season title.
Ahead 3-1 in the fifth, Northwest third baseman Mallory Souther caught a bunt attempt from Heritage’s Hannah Wills on the fly and doubled up Olivia Tamewitz at first base. With two outs and no runners on base, Lauren Lawson’s infield pop fly should have finished the inning, but the ball fell between multiple Lady Bruin infielders and Lawson safely reached first base.
Shelby Hammontree and Katie Pritchett followed with singles, the latter driving in Lawson. Northwest pitcher BriLeigh Baggett then walked Ali Roberts to load the bases. Brooklynn Frazier popped up behind third base, but Lady Bruins shortstop Ashley Conner couldn’t make the play, bringing in two more Heritage baserunners for a 4-3 Lady Generals lead.
“I’m not disappointed with losing, but I am disappointed in the way we lost,” Northwest coach Jason Brooker said. “You can’t give them too many runs. BriLeigh pitched fine.”
Krissi Prewitt’s two-run single made it 6-3 before Baggett escaped the inning. All five of the runs were unearned.
“That inning definitely cost us,” Godfrey said, “because they are a good team and you can’t give that much to good teams.”
Heritage (22-5, 9-1) claims a regular-season sweep of Northwest (23-4, 7-2) after a 6-5 win earlier this month in Ringgold. The Lady Generals are guaranteed a No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region 7-4A tournament. The Lady Bruins, the two-time defending Region 7-4A champs and 2012 Class 4A state champs, will be the No. 2 seed still with a game Monday against Southeast Whitfield before focusing on the league tournament.
“We came out awful tight and gave them some runs early,” Heritage coach Steve Chattin said. “In the two times we’ve played, I don’t know if either team has played as well as they are capable of.”
Colbie Thomas was Northwest’s leadoff hitter, and also led off the scoring. Her solo home run in the first inning gave the Lady Bruins a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Northwest took advantage of a Heritage error and Bayley Marquardt’s two-out single scored Hannah Godfrey and Conner.
Lawson, Heritage’s pitcher, only allowed five hits the rest of the game. In the second inning, she escaped a second-and-third, no-out jam when center fielder Tamewitz made a diving catch on a line drive and doubled up Thomas at second. That was the last time Northwest had multiple baserunners.
“After the first inning, I don’t want to say we settled, but we didn’t keep hitting,” Godfrey said. “We didn’t think we won the game, but we just didn’t keep hitting like we did in the first.”
Thomas, Alyssa Ward and Macy Weeks each finished 2-for-3. Baggett pitched the entire game, allowing one earned run off 10 hits and five walks. She struck out six batters.
• Dalton 7, LaFayette 6: Kylee Harris’ one-out double in the bottom of the ninth gave the Lady Catamounts an exciting come-from-behind win that wrapped up a No. 4 seed in next month’s Region 7-4A tournament.
Dalton was leading 3-2 going into the seventh inning when the Lady Ramblers scored to force extra innings. LaFayette then scored three in the eighth to put the pressure on the Lady Cats. Christen Pender, who went 5-for-5 on the day, had a triple to bring in the runner at second and scored on a throwing error. Carson Roberts then tied the game at 6-6 with an RBI single. That set the stage for Harris.
The win gives both Dalton (9-17 overall) and LaFayette identical 3-7 records in Sub-region 7B-4A. However, Dalton has the tiebreaker on LaFayette since the Lady Catamounts won both meetings between the two schools.
Pender finished with a pair of triples, a double, a single, three runs scored and four RBIs. Hannah Jones was 2-for-3 with a triple and a double, and pitcher Alli Swinford threw all nine innings, allowing five hits and striking out 10.
• North Murray 2, Union County 1: Freshman Skylar Key’s single scored Kaitlin Epps for the game-winning run in the seventh as the Lady Mountaineers won a makeup game at home.
Epps reached base when she was hit by a pitch. She went from first to third when Union County misplayed a fly ball in the outfield, setting the table for Key’s big hit.
North Murray (10-15) trailed 1-0 in the fifth when Baylee Sutton hit a solo home run. Sutton also pitched the fifth through seventh innings to earn the win.
Kara Deal was 2-for-3 to help the Lady Mountaineers at the plate, while Megan Pittman added a triple.
• Ridgeland 10, Southeast 0: The Lady Raiders were held to five singles — no one had more than one — in their road loss, which was cut to five innings by the mercy rule.
Covington held the Lady Panthers to five hits, but Southeast (7-16, 1-8 Sub-region 7B-4A) committed nine errors. Ridgeland will be the No. 3 seed from the sub-region, while the Lady Raiders will be the No. 5 seed.
• Christian Heritage’s Sub-region 6A-A finale at Trion was not played because there weren’t any umpires, Lady Lions coach Mike Leonard said.
Leonard said he did not know if the game would count as a forfeit or be made up at a later date.
• Murray County’s Region 7-2A game against visiting Model was not played due to wet field conditions. The game will be made up at 4 p.m. today.