Journal Sports Editor
WATERFORD — In a 12-10 girls softball game, you wouldn’t think defense would be the key to victory.
But it was on Thursday for the Corry Minor girls all-star team against stubborn Northwestern.
And it produced another District 3 championship.
Corry catcher Riley Baker combined with pitcher Kaylee McCray to throw out a runner at the plate in the fifth inning, then threw a potential base stealer in the sixth to keep the score tied.
Corry then scored twice in the seventh (regulation is six innings) for the dramatic victory, the team going 4-0 in the double-elimination tourney.
“Little Miss Corry” Lizzy Weingard capped a fantastic week becoming a closer in relief of McCray, who ran out of gas in the sixth.
Weingard gave up a walk, but Baker gunned her down. She gave up a single, then retired the final five batters she faced.
It was a see-saw contest (Corry won 11-8 in the opener), Corry up 4-0 and 8-4. Corry led 10-9 when NW tied it in the fifth.
Neither team scored in the sixth, when Baker gunned down a would-be base stealer.
“The play in the fifth was a game-saver,” claimed coach Dan Gates. “Riley dove after the wild pitch, (see photo) flipped it behind her while laid out on the ground. It was a perfect throw to McCray who laid on the tag. That kept the game tied.”
In the seventh, Cassandra Lehner laid down another bunt, this time the throw was high to first and she took second. With one out, Ryann Brundage singled off the pitcher’s hand with Lehner taking third. Brundage stole second. After Lehner scored, Autumn Heasley then delivered her second timely hit plating Brundage.
Weingard then induced a liner to second, a liner to first and a game-ending strikeout.
Heasley had a two-run single in the four-run first, Whitaker with a two-run double in the third. Rachel Volk ripped a two-run triple in the fourth for a 10-4 lead, but it would not last.
Whitaker and Lehner wound up with three hits. Collecting two were Volk, McCray and Heasley.
Kaitlyn Kimmy had a single, double and triple for the losers.
Corry now advances to sections next week in DuBois.
Corry Minors 413 200 2 — 12 n/a
Northwestern 301 510 0 — 10 8
2b-Abby Whitaker (C), Kaitlyn Kimmy (N). 3b-Rachel Volk (C), Kimmy (N). WP-Lizzy Weingard. LP-n/a.
Juniors girls beaten
HARBORCREEK — LeBoeuf scored two runs in the first inning and went on to defeat the Corry Junior girls 6-2 in the first round of the District 3 tourney.
Abby Rose got the win, Tiffany Chase charged with the loss.
No information was reported.
On the adjacent field, Harborcreek bested Union City, 4-1.
On Saturday, Corry is to play Iroquois. Meanwhile Union City draws Northwestern in the loser’s bracket.