CLAYTON — After taking a 3-0 second inning lead Wednesday in the softball sectional quarterfinals Northmont survived a four run 4th inning rally by Wayne to post a 7-4 victory.
The Lady Bolts advance to play Lakota West on Monday at Miamisburg High School.
Starting pitcher Sydney Weaver led off the 2nd inning with a single to center with Kaylee Wood coming in as a courtesy runner. Marissa Bardonaro followed with a one out single to right and Emma Finch laid down a bunt to load the bases. Sydney McGilton belted double to deep left field to drive-in Wood and Bardonaro. Kyra Rottgen laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Finch as Northmont took an early 3-0 lead.
Northmont center fielder Erin Mangen wiped out a Wayne scoring bid in the top of the 3rd inning. Left handed hitter Breanna Musick ripped a two out double to left field and Morgan Santos followed with a single to center. Mangen scooped up the ball and gunned a throw to the plate to catcher Sydney McGilton who tagged out Musick to end the top of the inning.
The Lady Bolts stranded a pair of base runners in the bottom of the third when Weaver and Bardonaro both hit singles.
In the top of the 4th Wayne gained the upper hand. Marissa Philpott singled to center and Sam Boyer singled to left. Kali Brickman laid down a bunt and Northmont gunned down Philpott at third. That proved to be a good thing as Makaila Foy came to the plate and ripped a three-run homer to deep center field to tie the game 3-3.
The home run appeared to rattle Northmont pitcher Sydney Weaver. After issuing a walk to Ryleigh Crouse she uncorked back-to-back wild pitches allowing Crouse to reach third. Weaver unleashed another wild pitch a few throws later to bring Crouse home from third as Wayne took a 4-3 lead.
After getting a fly out to center Weaver walked Skylar Edwards and Marissa Bardonaro came in as a relief pitcher. Weaver pitched 3 and 2/3 innings, gave up seven hits, three runs, three walks and struck out two.
While it might not have been her best day on the mound, Weaver came through big in the home half of the 4th inning. Kyra Rottgen hit a one out slap single down the third base line to get things going and Anna Mangen drew a walk. Cassy Lewis laid down a bunt but Rottgen got thrown out at home. Erin Mangen singled to score younger sister Anna and then Weaver belted a three run homer to deep left field to put Northmont back on top 7-4.
That was all she wrote. Wayne loaded the bases in top of the 5th with two outs but Weaver ended the threat by throwing out Marissa Norgrove on a ground ball to third. Wayne stranded two runners in the top of the sixth and one in the top of the 7th as Northmont went on to secure the 7-4 victory.
Wayne and Northmont will face each other again on Thursday in a regular season makeup game. If the Lady Warriors can pull out a victory they will earn a tie with Northmont for the National league crown.
“We went up 4-3 and then we left two runners on base for the next two or three innings,” said Wayne Coach John Chesley. “We didn’t get any two out hits and that was probably the difference. We had an error at third base and then the next batter hit that three-run homer and that was pretty much the difference in the game. Both teams hit well. Our pitcher, Kali Brickman, she really didn’t have her best day but she kept us in there. Credit Northmont. They hit the ball but we did too.”
Brickman pitched 6 innings, surrendered 13 hits, seven runs issued two walks and struck out three.
Chesley felt his players did a good job being patient at the plate to draw four walks but he felt neither Weaver nor Bardonaro threw the ball with much velocity, which he felt had his hitters out of synch.
“When they get you off balance like that sometimes it takes you an inning or two to adjust,” he added. “Northmont has a good program. Kris (Mangen) is a good coach and she has a bunch of good players. I hate to lose, but we have one more goal left. We play them one more time and if we can win that we will share the league title. We have to get our heads back together and come out for one more game and we will see what happens.”
Mangen noted the importance of the regular season makeup game.
“They have a lot to prove just like we do too,” Mangen said. “I am glad the makeup game is at home and hopefully we can carry today’s momentum into tomorrow. They know what to expect and we kind of know what to expect. We know it is going to be a battle and hopefully we will bring our A-game.”
Mangen noted that Weaver didn’t have her best game on the mound but was happy to see her hit well. Weaver went 3-4 with three runs batted in.
“It wasn’t her best game pitching but she sure as heck hit the snot out of the ball,” Mangen added. “It’s a nice thing to have three pitchers in our lineup and we don’t have a problem using any of them. Bardonaro came in and gave us good relief and got us out of it.”
Bardonaro pitched 3 and 1/3 innings, scattered five hits and issued one walk.
WAY 000 400 0 – 4 12 1
NMT 030 400 x – 7 13 2
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind