Northwest knocks off WC in 7th

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 19, 2001

[9/19/01]Northwest leadoff hitter Kristan Preble went 2-for-4 with a triple and five RBIs three of them on a triple in the top of the seventh.

“(Northwest) is a good team. This team is ranked No. 5 in the state. Gosh, what more can you ask of your kids? They get up and go nose-to-nose with them, and they were fortunate that the bottom of the order did come through with a hit,” WC coach Lucy Young said. “I was thinking, This is good, because we’re in a good place in the batting order to finish this off.’ But luckily for them, those girls stepped up and did what they had to do.”

When Landers tripled and scored on a groundout by Peoples to extend WC’s lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Vikes appeared to be on their way to avenging a 10-run loss to Northwest earlier this season.

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But Becky Robinson, Kristi Gibbs and Emmelyn Branscone the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters for Northwest all came through with one-out singles in the seventh, and Preble followed with a bases-clearing triple to cut it to 6-5. Northwest left fielder Paige Lemmons then sliced a foul down the left-field line that WC’s Lyn Strawn caught for the second out. She made a strong throw, but Preble scored to tie it at 6-6.

“Lyn’s got an outstanding arm. If she’d have caught it in a little bit closer … it just wasn’t meant to be, ” Young said.

The next three Northwest batters singled, including an RBI-base hit by pitcher Jennifer Johnson, to give the Lady Cougars a 7-6 lead.

WC third baseman Anna Mitchell singled to start the bottom of the seventh, but she was later forced out on a grounder by Carson for the second out and Strawn dribbled a grounder to first to end the game.

“We didn’t hit anything before the seventh inning. Warren Central, they didn’t give it to us. We came out and hit. Everything we got in that seventh inning, we earned. They outplayed us the six innings before that,” Northwest coach Candy Stringer said.

Despite the tough loss, Barnett didn’t think the Lady Vikes would be down heading into a tough game against Clinton on Thursday and key division games against Natchez next week.

“We won’t be down about it at all,” Barnett said. “We’ll be more go-after it.’ ”

The Lady Vikes were in control all the way up until the seventh.

They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on RBI singles by Landers and Peoples, and a sacrifice fly by Cookie Johnson.

WC held Northwest scoreless until the fifth, when the bottom of the order again set up Preble with three straight one-out singles. Preble came through with a two-run single to cut it to 3-2.

In the bottom of the inning, WC turned to their power game to push the lead back to three runs.

Carson drove a shot to center that went over the head of Preble, and circled the bases. Carson was gassed by the time she rounded third, but the throw was short and she was able to beat Gibbs’ tag.

After a popout, Barnett hit another long fly to center that went all the way to the fence. The cutoff throw to the shortstop was a little off-line, giving Barnett a chance to score, and she slid under Gibbs’ tag.

“I actually wanted to go there because the girl was playing me so shallow,” Barnett said. “It made me sort of mad.”