October 4, 2012

Region 7-4A softball: Dramatic win has Northwest a victory from crown

When Northwest Whitfield’s softball team, which has plenty of postseason experience, walks onto the field, there are several things it knows it can count on.

The Lady Bruins know pitcher Emily Boyd will do plenty to give her team every chance to win. They know the defense — for the most part — will be solid.

Now they also know they have a freshman who hits last in the batting order but can deliver a walk-off homer in a pressure-packed situation.

Jamison Payne delivered a two-out, first-pitch bomb over the left-center field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Lady Bruins a 3-2 win over Heritage-Catoosa on Wednesday in the Region 7-4A tournament’s championship bracket final at Heritage Point. The win put them into today’s Region 7-4A championship, where they’ll face either Dalton or Heritage at 7 p.m.

It was the first homer for the freshman, who splits time with two other players in the designated hitter slot for Northwest (26-3), the top-ranked team in the Class 4A coaches poll.

“It was just all a blur,” Payne said. “When I was in the on-deck circle, I was really nervous, and then I got used to it and said, ‘Hey, I have been doing this all of my life. Just hit the ball.’”

She didn’t waste any time when she got in the box. She teed off on the first pitch from Heritage’s Taylor Moran, who had given up two runs in the second inning when her outfield misplayed a fly ball in the gap.

“We had noticed earlier in the game that she was coming at us with a first-ball fastball and more often than not we were laying off of it,” Northwest coach Jason Brooker said. “I told her to look for it. She did, and as soon as she hit it, I knew it was gone.”

The Lady Bruins had already clinched a spot in the state playoffs on Tuesday, but now they’ll go for their third region title in four seasons.

Heritage (23-5-1) falls into the consolation bracket final and will face Dalton at 5 p.m. today. The winner of that game will have to beat Northwest twice to win the region title. The Lady Bruins (26-3) are guaranteed no worse than the region’s No. 2 seed in the state playoffs, meaning they’ll host for at least the opening round when the 4A tournament starts next week.

If the Lady Bruins are beaten tonight, a deciding championship game would be played at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Payne got her shot in the seventh for one big reason — the first two batters of the inning recorded outs.

“We have been rotating girls in our No. 9 slot, and Bayley Marquardt is our best bunter, so I guess you could say that I was glad that the first two girls in the inning made outs,” Brooker said. “Early in the season, we knew that (Payne) had some real promise. Early on, she had trouble sitting back and was ahead of everything. Now, I just tell her to not get impatient.”

It was understandable for all of the hitters to be a little impatient with the work on the mound from Boyd and Moran. Boyd struck out 12 and gave up five hits, while Moran allowed just five hits as well, working more to her defense than Boyd.

“This is what we all expected when you play Emily,” said Heritage coach Steve Chattin, whose team finished fourth in the state tournament last year. “I thought we did a good job of taking advantage of some things, but we have to come up with another win if we want another chance against them.”

The victory was the third of the year for Northwest against Heritage.


Click here to sign up to receive text alerts on your team.

Text Only
  • DHS vs RHS fball xtra 7 mlh.jpg Totally focused on fútbol

    In order to chase his soccer dream and continue to mature and improve in the sport that he loves so much, Dalton High School athlete Eder Mora has decided to make a sacrifice — giving up football.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Whitfield, Chris.JPG Chris Whitfield: Football fans may lose, but Mora will win with decision

    Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to see some of the finest athletes this state has ever produced. From professional athletes who went on to the NFL, MLB and the NBA to college washouts who still rank as the finest high school athletes I have ever seen, I have been blessed.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHS fball conditioning 6 mlh.jpg Christian Heritage enters camp with many questions to answer

    In the first day of conditioning for local high school football teams, Christian Heritage coach Preston Poag didn’t decide any of the position battles that his team faces this year after losing a strong senior class.
    But there will be plenty of those battles to come.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW hoops star Storey to play for Bob Jones

    Caleb Storey, a 2014 graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School, was named to the Bob Jones University men’s basketball team for the upcoming 2014-2015 season.

    July 26, 2014

  • Three local golfers to play in GSGA match

    Dalton boys golfers Hardin Chambless and Landon Painter and Chatsworth’s Tori Owens will represent northwest Georgia in the Georgia State Golf Association’s Junior Sectional Challenge Match on Sunday and Monday at The Landings Golf Club in Savannah.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7on7 day 1 '14 23 mlh.jpg Conditioning for success

    Local high school football teams have had voluntary workouts, seven-on-seven drills and other practices and camps throughout the summer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Summer of Satterfield: Rising star goes low for latest victory

    Chatsworth’s Savannah Satterfield is proving her mettle on the golf course this summer, and her latest tournament outing resulted in another title and a record round.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roadrunners’ Mitchell receives high academic honor

    Chatsworth’s Tyler Mitchell hopes to make his living playing professional golf. But if his dreams of courtesy cars and big checks on the PGA Tour don’t come through, he knows he can rely upon his education.

    July 25, 2014

  • Larry Case: Camping a sure cure for the big city blues

    In case you haven’t noticed, we are looking right down the gun barrel at winding down on another summer.

    July 25, 2014

  • Chris Whitfield's Fairways & Greens: Nob North prepares for 'big date'

    Like anyone getting ready for a big date, golf courses get dressed up when it is time for a major event. But while a woman may put on a little makeup and a man may add a spray of cologne, Nob North Golf Course in Varnell is getting something more akin to Botox.

    July 24, 2014

Devin Golden's sports updates
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites