Northeast advances to state semifinals


May 19, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN REPORTER

All season long, Northeast softball coach Marianne Shultz has been emphasizing the importance of staying with the immediate task at hand - pitch by pitch, inning by inning.

It proved a valuable lesson learned in yesterday's Class 3A East regional championship game at No. 9 Centennial.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning, No. 12 Northeast put together a string of quality at-bats - catcher Lizzy Wedell's two-run double to deep left field the highlight - as the visitors went on for a 3-1 win. Northeast will take on Franklin in Tuesday's state semifinal.

Miranda Marvel and Lindsey Gray had consecutive one-out singles and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from Jill Mullan, setting the stage for Wedell.

After grounding out and popping out in her first two plate appearances, she drilled a double that reached the fence. Bridget Rode added a run-scoring single in the seventh to make it 3-1. It was more than enough for pitcher Heather Brown, who got the last of her 11 strikeouts to complete a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

"Earlier in the season, we fell apart in some games, so we've been trying to instill how important it is to stay in games - take it one out and one inning at a time," Shultz said.

Sherwood 2, No. 11 C. Milton Wright 0 -- Dana Ward pitched a no-hitter and recorded 13 strikeouts as the Warriors (19-1) beat the Mustangs (16-5) to win the Class 4A North title and advance to the state semifinals Tuesday.

No. 5 Hammond 1, Patuxent 0 -- With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Brittany Hazzard drew a walk and Jessica Purdy scored to give the host Bears (20-1) the Class 2A South crown, their first regional title ever. Stephanie Speierman struck out 21.

Staff reports contributed to this article.

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