Sixth-seeded Young Harris scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday to take a 5-4 win over third-seed Central Alabama and advance to Sunday’s Gold bracket semifinals along with top-seeded Wallace Community College-Dothan, second-seeded Wallace State-Hanceville, and fourth-seeded Daytona Beach at the 2005 NFCA Junior College Leadoff Classic in LaGrange, Ga.
The Mountain Lions (12-8) jumped on top early against Central Alabama as Kerry Hammond drilled a three-run home run, her first of two hits in the game, in the third inning. Central Alabama fought back to take a 4-3 advantage two frames later as the Trojans got back to back run-scoring singles from Shea Austin and Heather Fox.
The defensive struggle in the game continued until the seventh when Linzi Williamson led off with a walk and advanced to second on an error that put Tara Dawson on. After a sacrifice by Sabrina Tucker advanced the runners, the Mountain Lions fell to their final out. Cheryl Stephens lifted a fly ball just beyond the infield that the shortstop was unable to handle, allowing Williamson and Dawson the score the deciding runs.
Top-seeded Wallace-Dothan, who has started the season on a 27-game win streak, landed a 3-0 mark in pool play to earn the Gold bracket’s top seed. That streak appeared to be in jeopardy before the Lady Govs scored a run in the eight to pull out a 2-1 win over Gulf Coast in the opening round of bracket action.
Courtney Davis’ RBI double in the opening inning appeared to be enough for Blair Potter, who went the distance for Wallace and allowed a run on five hits with 12 strikeouts, but Gulf Coast took advantage of a leadoff walk as Joyce Roodenburg singled home Yusmary Perez with the tying run.
The Commodores threatened to regain the lead in the extra frame as they had runners at second and third with one out. Following a walk, Potter got Blythe Golden to fly out to center field to end the threat.
Wallace won the game in the home half of the inning when Rachel Pittman scored on a miscue by Angela Lopez, who suffered the loss despite allowing one earned run on five hits in a complete-game performance.
Another game decided by a single run was Daytona Beach’s thrilling 1-0 win over Columbia Basin.
Daytona’s Taren Walston and Columbia Basin’s Nina Doane both battled to a stalemate in the circle through the first five innings, but Walston and her Falcon teammates broke through in the sixth.
Jennifer Boldman led off the frame with a single. Following a sacrifice and an error, Walston delivered the winning run with a single that plated Boldman.
Wallace-Hanceville continued to swing hot bats as it scored seven runs in the third and four in the fourth to take an 11-0 win over Blinn and advance to Sunday’s semifinals.
Ashley Elmore sparked the seven-run burst as she launched a grand slam off Blinn’s Anna Lamb. Katie Veres delivered an RBI single in the four-run fourth, and Anna Walker capped it with a single that scored two more.
Four Lady Lions collected two hits, including Katie Veres who paced a four-run fourth with an RBI single to left field. Anna Parker followed her with a single to right that scored Brittany Bearden and Veres.
The Lady Lions will face Young Harris in one semifinal, while Wallace-Dothan takes on Daytona Beach in the other.
Chattanooga State got home runs from India Turner, Jessica Emery and Chelsea Albertson as the Tigers advanced to play Pensacola, a 3-0 winner over Georgia Perimeter in Sunday’s Silver bracket semifinal. Indian River advanced to play Parkland, a 7-1 winner over Tallahassee, in the other semi with a 3-2 win over Louisburg.
Courtney Gray homered in a four-run fourth, and Katie Barnett added a solo shot in the seventh as Meridian Community College advanced in Bronze bracket competition with a 7-5 win over Alvin.
The Eagles will face Navarro, who got a three-hit shutout from Lindsay Trammell and a pair of hits and RBIs from Erica Harris to hold off Abraham Baldwin 3-0.
Florida Community College advanced to play Chattahochee Valley in Sunday’s Bronze semifinal action with a 2-0 win over Illinois Central. Chattahoochee Valley claimed an 8-3 win Saturday night over Anne Arundel.
Championship day at the 2005 NFCA Junior College Leadoff Classic kicks off at 10 a.m. The championship tilts are scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m.