White Plains won this one with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a 3-2 victory. It marked top-seeded White Plains’ third one-run win over Saks this season.
The Lady Wildcats had put only nine runners on base by the time the bottom of the seventh came along. Two had scored, and it would have been three if another runner hadn’t been gunned down at the plate by Saks center fielder Daisy Cornejo on an attempted sacrifice fly.
And yet, with the bases loaded with one out, Morgan Cobb hit a fly ball to Cornejo in center. After the catch, White Plains coach Rachel Ford sent pinch-runner Lauren Dodson home. Dodson scored the winning run.
“The whole reason I sent her was because (Saks pitcher) Taylor West is going to shut you down a lot, and when you get your chances, you have to take advantage of them,” Ford said. “I wanted to go for it again because it’d have to be a perfect throw and perfect timing and I wanted to put the pressure on them.”
And when the pressure was on second-seeded Saks (27-12-1) in the field, it struggled.
“You can’t win making nine errors. You can do it against a team that’s this aggressive,” Saks coach Michelle Lively said. “We give them the game every single time. They capitalize on our errors, but that’s what a good team does.”
West had a solid outing on the mound and even added a home run in the first inning. Saks led 2-0 heading to the fourth.
But after the errors started in the bottom of the fourth, White Plains got on the board. It was Sophie Taylor in the sixth who gave White Plains the momentum with a solo shot to left-center that tied it 2-2.
“I think that changed the game. It made everybody at ease,” Ford said. “They felt better and remembered they were good hitters. I think it changed the momentum of the game.”
The win clinches a spot for regular-season area champion White Plains in the South Central Regional in Troy next weekend. Saks will play Thursday against either third-seeded Piedmont or fourth-seeded Weaver.
That winner will need to beat White Plains twice Thursday night to win the area tournament, but will have clinched a spot in Troy already.
“I really think we can beat them if we cut back our errors,” Lively said. “At least half of them.”
White Plains 12, Weaver 0, five innings — The top seed had no problem getting past the fourth-seeded Bearcats behind the outing of Amber Greenwood.
Greenwood pitched a complete game, allowing three hits and striking out two. She was backed by strong hitting with the Lady Wildcats scoring four runs in the second, two in the third and six in the fourth.
Sophie Taylor, Anna Snider, Carley Wood, Lauren Mueller and Anna Rouse each recorded hits and runs for White Plains.
Jazmyn Mosley had two hits for Weaver and Macie Baker added the other.
Saks 6, Piedmont 2 — A five-run second inning and one-run third was all Taylor West needed on the mound for the Lady Wildcats to pull out the win.
West cruised through seven innings, striking out 11 batters while allowing four hits and two unearned runs. She added a hit at the plate.
The second inning included hits and runs from Tiffany Springer, Kelly Killgore, Laken Haynes and Daisy Cornejo. Hayes finished with three RBIs and Cornejo had two hits.
Madison Pike had two hits for Piedmont, while Sarah Garner and Brittany Holloway had a hit each. Garner and Pike each had runs, as well.
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.