Game 1: Surry 5 Pitt 7
Pitt opened up Region X tournament play with a close win against the #5 seed Surry Community College on Friday. Sophomore Peyton Taylor through all 7 innings, and through 6 innings held the Knights to no runs and just 4 hits.
The Bulldogs struck first in the bottom of the 1st inning when Brianna Williams hit a 2-out single to right field scoring Taylor Carroll from 2nd base who reached earlier on a walk. They would push 3 more runs across the plate in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Megan Latsko led the inning with a line drive single to left field followed by 4 more back to back singles by Erin McDonald, Peyton Taylor, Brianna Williams, and Summer Prevatte. Sophomore Taylor Niemotka had an RBI sac fly to right field to end the 3rd inning making the score 4-0. In the bottom of the 6th inning with 1 out freshman Taylor Lilley would stroke a solo homerun to left field putting the Bulldogs up 5-0. With 2-outs, Erin McDonald would drive in Megan Latsko who reached on a fielders choice with a single to right field and a throwing error on the play. McDonald would later come around to score for the final run of the inning.
In the top of the 7th the Knights chipped their way back off of 2 defensive errors and 3 hits. They were able to push 5 runs across the plate before the Bulldogs got the final out officially putting the team 1 win away from going to the Region X Championship.
At the plate, Brianna Williams was 2-2 with 2 walks to lead the team offensively. Megan Latsko, Erin McDonald, and Peyton Taylor also each collected 2 hits apiece. Taylor Lilley, Summer Prevatte and Taylor Carroll each had 1 hit.
Saturday - Winner's Bracket
Richard Bland 9 Pitt 4
The Statesmen attacked early in the first inning pushing 2 runs across, and it seemed like an uphill battle from there. The Bulldogs were able to string together some offense in the bottom of the 7th inning when Taylor Carroll took a leadoff walk to start the inning followed by a single by Megan Latsko. Runners were able to move on a single by Peyton Taylor, putting runners 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. English Dean singled in a hard ground ball to the shortstop combined with a defensive miscue scoring 2 runs on the play.
Allie Phillips would take the loss, though all 3 pitchers threw in the game of the 9 runs, only 5 were earned.
Saturday - Loser's Bracket
Surry 0 Pitt 8 (5 innings)
In a loser-out game to decide who would continue playing for a tournament title, the Bulldogs would again look to face off with Surry.
English Dean would throw all 5 innings and be lights out as she held the Knights to just 4 hits, 0 walks and 1 strikeout.
The defense for the Bulldogs really took notice as Summer Prevatte and Taylor Carroll in the middle would turn 4-6-3 double plays twice to kill any offensive momentum for the Knights.
In just 4 innings of play offensively Pitt strung together 7 hits. 2 from Erin McDonald, followed by Anna Craft, Peyton Taylor, Taylor Carroll, Taylor Niemotka and Taylor Lilley with 1 hit apiece.
Saturday - Championship Game 1
Richard Bland 9 Pitt 13
In a must win game to force another championship game, Pitt unleashed at the plate. Despite giving up 2 runs in the top of the 1st inning, the Bulldogs didn't lose momentum pushing 1 run across the plate in the bottom of the 1st and striking again to take the lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning 3-2. It was in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings though that the Bulldogs really stepped in to take a command of the game.
Taylor Carroll took control at the plate going 3-4 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI's to lead offense in the game. Haley Wright also found her bat coming up big also going 3-4 with 1 double. Megan Latsko went 2-4 with a double, Peyton Taylor went 2-3 with a double, and Taylor Niemotka went 2-4. In total the Bulldogs outhit RBC 15-8.
Allie Phillips would pitch the win to continue on to the championship game. Giving up 5 hits over 6.2 innings pitched with 2 earned runs, 4 walks and 1 strikeout. English Dean would earn the save to come in to get the last out of the game.
Saturday - Championship Game 2
Richard Bland 4 Pitt 6
Pitt never left the driver's seat in the final championship game on Saturday. The team took advantage immediately of some defensive miscues from the Statesmen and pushed 2 runs across in the bottom of the 1st inning, 2nd inning and 3rd inning. Solid defense from the entire team would keep them in the lead from there on out. In a close match-up, both teams were tied with 8 hits apiece. RBC was able to chip away at the lead, and even push a run across in the top of the 7th inning to cut the lead down to 2 runs. But it wouldn?t be enough to overtake the Bulldogs. Both Anna Craft and Taylor Carroll would make diving catches in the inning to end any rally RBC was hoping to get. And the last out of the game would be a hard ground ball hit back to Dean in the circle for the final out.
At the plate Peyton Taylor went 2-3 with 2 doubles. Haley Wright had another productive showing at the plate going 1-2 with an RBI and a sac fly. Megan Latsko had 2 RBI?s and went 1-3 at the plate with 2 stolen bases and Taylor Carroll would go 2-4 at the plate with 2 stolen bases.
English Dean would earn the win, pitching 7 innings, giving up 8 hits, 4 earned runs and 1 strikeout. The Bulldogs didn't commit a single defensive error in the game.
"After the first loss to Richard Bland Saturday the entire team's mentality was we got this, and we'll be back to play them. It was the first time all season we had played more than 2 games in 1 day and the will to win, heart, passion all kicked in for us. Only having 3 pitchers sometimes is tough, but each of them showed this weekend how much heart they all have. Both Allie and English stepped up for us when we needed them, and so did our defense. Every single player on defense in that last championship game had some type of phenomenal play. And when you have Taylor Niemotka behind the plate who can catch 4 games in 1 day and call pitches to keep batters off balance, that's what takes you from good to great. I know the score was close and on paper that game could go to either team, but the entire game we felt relaxed and in the driver's seat. The players really wanted this, and Saturday they went out and took it for themselves. We are just going to enjoy this moment for the next few days and start focusing on the next big goal one game at a time. We're excited to represent Region X and Pitt Community College on the big stage." - Head Coach Jennie Harp.
All Tournament Team selections included:
Taylor Carroll Tournament MVP
Coach Harp also earned the honor of being recognized as the Region X DII Coach of the year.
The team will head to Clinton, Mississippi where they will compete for a National Championship May 17-20th. The Bulldogs will wait to be seeded and find out who they play on Monday, May 15th.