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Northside, Alleghany and Lord Botetourt advance to Region III play.
JOEL HAWKSLEY | The Roanoke Times
Northside's Caitlyn Porterfield celebrates with her team after the Vikings' 4-2 win over Alleghany in the Blue Ridge District final at Staunton River High School on Friday.
JOEL HAWKSLEY | The Roanoke Times
Northside's Kelsey Jarrett fields a ground ball during the Vikings' 4-2 win over Alleghany in the Blue Ridge District final at Staunton River High School on Friday.
Friday, May 24, 2013
MONETA — Caitlyn Porterfield knows how to stick to a game plan.
Northside softball coach Lynn Richmond said the plan was as simple as “get the lead; keep the lead.”
Porterfield, the second Viking to come to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, followed the plan to perfection. She hit a shot that might have made it over the center field fence most days, but the stiff wind gusting out to straightaway center field turned the shot into a no-doubter and staked the Vikings (21-1) to a lead they would not relinquish en route to a 4-2 win in the championship game of the Blue Ridge District softball tournament.
Not settling for the two first-inning runs, Porterfield drove in Katelyn Bowden in the second and again in the sixth, accounting for all four of the Vikings’ RBIs.
Alleghany (15-6) scratched out two runs in the seventh to close the margin to 4-2 on an RBI double by Meagan Walton and a RBI groundout by Catie Carpenter.
Northside junior pitcher Ruthie Williams found herself pitching deep into the count repeatedly, but she was able to coax groundballs when needed, scattering six hits going the distance for the win. Williams struck out three and walked two.
Alleghany coach Ty Dobbs said his team only lacked a key hit here or there that could have changed the game.
“We hit the ball hard at people all game,” Dobbs said. “We just didn’t get that key hit, it would go right at somebody,”
The Mountaineers stranded seven runners in scoring position.
Dobbs wasn’t discouraged, having witnessed a comeback earlier in the day to make the final game. The Mountaineers trailed Lord Botetourt 4-1 Thursday when the game was suspended because of weather. When it resumed Friday, the Mounties rallied for a 7-6 win to earn a berth in the final and secure a spot in the Region III tournament next week.
The Vikings pounded out nine hits, four off starter Katie Holestin, who was replaced in the second inning. Freshman Heather Mayes came on in relief and allowed just one run on five hits, striking out three and walking one.
“Alleghany is a team that never gives up,” Richmond said. “Every time we play Alleghany it is a great game. Either team could win. Our kids get along well and there is mutual respect. We always play great softball games with them.”
Northside will host a regional game next week. Alleghany’s opponent is unknown.
Lord Botetourt also earned a trip to the Region III tournament as the Blue Ridge District’s third seed by virtue of its 10-1 win over Rockbridge in the third-place game. Kendra Wood threw five innings, allowing one hit and an unearned run, and McKenzie Tyler pitched the last two frames of the two-hitter.
Alleghany 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 — 2 6 0
Northside 2 1 0 0 0 1 x — 4 9 1
Holestein, Mayes (2) and M. Walton. Williams and Grubbs. W - Williams (15-1) L - Holestin (7-3).
Rockbridge 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 2 6
Lord Botetourt 2 0 4 3 0 1 x — 10 10 2
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