McIntosh, Northgate to play for region championship

Wed, 10/10/2007 - 9:33pm
By: Kevin Wandra

The McIntosh Lady Chiefs now know who they will play tomorrow in the Region 2-AAAA softball tournament championship game — the Northgate Lady Vikings.

Top-seeded Northgate defeated third-seeded Whitewater 4-1 in a semifinal game Wednesday to advance to the region championship game Thursday at McCurry Park in Fayetteville. The Lady Vikings will be looking to avenge their only region loss of the season, 1-0 to the second-seeded Lady Chiefs Tuesday night.

Northgate will have to beat McIntosh twice, as the Lady Chiefs have yet to lose a game in the double-elimination tournament.

It was a disappointing finish for Whitewater, which began the day with a 4-0 victory over fourth-seeded Starr’s Mill.

In the semifinal game, Nikki Rainey led off the top of the fifth inning with a double to right-center field, and Natalie Simpson, pinch-running for Rainey, later scored on a wild pitch to give Northgate a 1-0 lead.

Kate Kuzma doubled Northgate’s lead in the sixth, clobbering a solo homer over the left field fence.

Whitewater came back in the bottom half of the inning to cut Northgate’s lead in half.

Jamie Saunders led off with a double to the right-field fence and took third on a fielder’s interference call by the infield umpire.

One out later, Tess Echols’ sharply hit grounder bounced off the chest of Northgate second baseman Liza Dye and scored Saunders.

Northgate added two more runs in the seventh — one on an error — to put the Lady Wildcats away for good.

Whitewater’s inability to bring runners on base home cost it the victory; the Lady Wildcats left six runners on base.

A throwing error in the third and back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Echols and Lauren Williamon in the third enabled Whitewater to grab a 3-0 lead against Starr’s Mill in the early game.

Whitewater added another run on an error in the sixth to pad its lead.

Whitney Toler scattered seven hits, struck out six and walked none to record the shutout victory.

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