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Softball: War Eagles edge Wolverines in 8 innings
Young holds West to three hits
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South Forsyths Maddie Catinella reaches first base just ahead of a throw to West Forsyths Paighton Roushey on Wednesday at the Lady Wolverines field. - photo by Jared Putnam

Through seven innings, South Forsyth and West Forsyth could only take what they were given. When that wasn’t enough to decide a winner, Shea Smith came through for the Lady War Eagles.

Smith delivered the deciding run with an RBI double during a three-run top of the eighth inning, and South held on for a 4-2 victory over the Wolverines on the West campus.

"Shea had a big hit," South coach Ronnie Davis said. "She’s a senior and she came up with a big hit when it was needed."

South (8-7-2, 5-1 Region 6-AAAAAA) has won eight of its last 10 games after going winless in the first seven. West (8-5, 4-1), which was one out away from a 1-0 victory before an error allowed South to tie the game, was dealt its first region loss of the season.

"When two good teams meet it’s [usually about] who comes up with the big play and who doesn’t," South coach Ronnie Davis said.

"We gave them their first run unearned and they gave us [our first] to tie it up. We’ve been in a lot of close ball games early in the year, which I really think helped us just be level-headed and not get too up or down in any situation."

Both teams’ pitchers weaved in and out of danger until the bottom of the fifth, when West broke a scoreless tie with the help of two throwing errors by South pitcher Kaylyn Young (8 IP, 10 K, 3 H, 5 BB, 2 R, 0 ER).

Danielle Bernstein grounded a ball back to Young, whose throw to first hit the dirt and skipped to the fence. Bernstein made it all the way around to second base with one out and later took third on a wild pitch.

Young appeared to have Bernstein caught in a rundown between third and home on a squeeze bunt attempt by Caitlin Parks, but she threw low a second time, allowing the runner to score.

West was still ahead 1-0 with two outs in the top of the seventh, but a leadoff walk by pitcher Maci Fletcher (8 IP, 7 K, 5 H, 4 BB, HBP, 4 R, 2 ER) came back to haunt the Wolverines.

With Maddie Catinella standing at third base, Amanda Rutkowsi grounded a ball that came up on third baseman Hayla Seitz and allowed Catinella to tie the game.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win and it just didn’t work out tonight," West coach Justin Rickett said. "When two good teams play, things like that are going to happen. You’re not always going to be the one on top."

South’s Sofia Tapia started the top of the eighth at second base courtesy of the international tiebreaker rule and quickly took third on a wild pitch. Following a pop out by Caitlyn Reeves, Frankie Catinella gave South its first lead of the night, knocking a slow roller along the first base line to bring Tapia home ahead of the throw.

Frankie Catinella reached first safely and later stole second before scoring on Smith’s line-drive double to left-center. Pinch runner Sarah Nelms took third on a passed ball and scored the Lady War Eagles’ third run of the inning on a squeeze by Allison White.

West got one run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Angie Jordan but left the tying runs stranded on base.

Davis praised the effort of his starting pitcher, who allowed just three hits after holding Milton to one unearned run in a loss Tuesday night.

"The girl on the mound [Young], she threw it," Davis said. "She’s throwing well right now. We’ve just got to make sure we keep her healthy and fresh."

South returns to region action against North Forsyth on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Raider Field. West is scheduled to host Chattahoochee on Monday at 7 p.m. before welcoming Lambert at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.