Lady Chiefs win district tourney

Published 1:23 am Monday, April 24, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
Many championship games are close, exciting nailbiters, and the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 3A District 1 championship game between the Northview Lady Chiefs and the Lady Braves of Walton April 20 lived up to that billing.
"We pulled it out, but it was too close for comfort," NHS head coach Sammy Day said.
The Lady Chiefs (14-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and added one more in the second inning to make the score 3-0. Walton fired back with a three-run fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3.
The fifth inning saw no action, but NHS took a 5-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning. The Lady Braves answered with one run in the bottom of the inning, but were unable to score again as NHS pitcher Caitlyn Spence kept the Walton hitters off balance in the bottom of the seventh to clinch the tournament championship.
"We got them three up, three down in the seventh because Caitlyn relied on her changeup and the hitters were so far ahead on their swings that they could not make solid contact," Day said. "We got three easy outs for the win."
Spence pitched a complete game, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits. She struck out three batters and walked none.
The Lady Chiefs only grabbed five hits as well, but Day said they came at the right times in the game.
"We hit the ball hard, but it was right at their fielders," Day said.
Meagan Pickern was 2-for-3 with two doubles and one RBI. Hannah Gunter was 1-for-3 and had one RBI. Stephanie Covan went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI.
On April 18 NHS disposed of Catholic High School 12-2 in the opening round of the tournament.
"We scored five runs in the second inning and after that it seemed like the other team wanted to pack it in and go home," Day said.
Catholic made six errors, which led to six unearned runs for NHS.
Spence went the entire game again, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits. She struck out two batters and walked none.
The Lady Chiefs managed eight hits at the plate and Kayla Presley led the charge, going 2-for-3. Spence was 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. Rachel Killam went 1-for-2 and Nikki Crabtree was 1-for-4 with a double.
Day said he was proud of how his girls played.
The Lady Chiefs will face the winner of the FHSAA Class 3A District 2 game between Bonifay and Marianna Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Bratt.
That game was played Friday at Marianna.
"I like that we get to host the first round and now we will host every game if we keep winning, but if we lose we are out," Day said. "It is a great feeling to know we will be playing on our home turf throughout the playoffs."

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