NEW PARIS — National Trail secured at least a share of the Cross County Conference softball championship with a rain delayed 6-5 win over visiting Tri-County North on Wednesday, May 3.
The game reached the top of the fifth on Friday, April 28, when it was suspended with the Blazers leading 6-5.
When play resumed on Wednesday, North had runners on second and third with one out and looked poised to at least tie the game.
But Trail came up with a defensive play that saved the game.
North’s first batter Gracie Douglas bunted, but Trail opted to not throw to first and keep the runner on third and load the bases. The next batter, Cassie Stinson, hit a line drive to the outfield where Davlyn Werner made the catch and made a perfect throw to home to get a double play and get the Blazers out of a jam.
Neither team threatened to score the rest of the game.
Trail jumped out to a 3-0 in the first inning and extended its lead to 5-0 after three.
North, though, rallied with five runs of its own in the fourth.
The Blazers regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth.
Trail’s Payten Laird started on the mound and allowed four hits and struck out three. Elizabeth Glander came in the 4th inning and allowed four hits and struck out four, including the last out of the game.
Offensively, Trail was led by Savanna Abner and Gracie Jones, who both went 2-for-3 with an RBI each. Bobbi Jean Grimes had a double driving in two runs. Kerestin Nugent had a huge triple and eventually scored the game-winning run. Laird and Ariel Lee both added base hits.
For North, Riley Cruse was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Douglas was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Sara Harris was 2-for-3.
With the win, Trail improved to 15-7 overall and 10-1 in the CCC with one game remaining. The Blazers are scheduled to host Arcanum on Thursday.
The Blazers, who also beat Twin Valley South 28-0 and lost to Eaton 5-2 last week, was scheduled to play at Arcanum in the first round of the Division III sectional on Monday, May 8.
With the loss, North fell to 12-10 overall and 4-7 in the CCC.
North was scheduled to play Twin Valley South on Monday, May 8, in its final CCC game of the season. The No. 3-seeded Panthers will begin tournament play on Thursday, May 11 against either No. 1 seed Franklin-Monroe or No. 5 Twin Valley South. If F-M beats South, North will travel to F-M. If South wins, North will host the game.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH