Most Viewed Stories
Northwood moves closer to PCL title
IRVINE - Northwood’s softball team is close to clinching the Pacific Coast League title after defeating Woodbridge, 6-5, in nine innings Tuesday evening at Deanna Manning Stadium.
The Timberwolves (14-7-1, 8-1) have a one game lead over second place Woodbridge (15-12, 7-2). The teams came into the game tied for first place.
Northwood, which on Thursday plays University, a team it easily handled in the first round, is in the driver’s seat. Woodbridge plays Irvine.
“We’re happy, we’ve had kind of a tough year, we’ve played a bunch of high ranked teams to try and get ready for this part of it and we had a big of a setback when they hit the heck out of the ball (Woodbridge won, 14-4, in the first round),” said Northwood Coach Blair Ota.
“The kids made up their minds they were going to play harder this time and everybody on this team had something to do with it.”
After plenty of drama in the final innings, Julia Northcutt started the rally for Northwood in the top of the ninth inning when she tripled and came home on a groundout by Kiara Ota.
In the bottom of the inning, winning pitcher Nicole Thomas retired the Warriors in order.
Northcutt was one of the offensive stars going 3 for 5 with three runs scored.
“Our goal this entire season was to win league,” Northcutt said. “Woodbridge was our toughest competition and we knew we had to come out and be active and win this game. We were kind of down because they beat us already so we had to come out and win this game.”
Northcutt’s triple sparked the Timberwolves.
“I don’t hit away much so I think that was my first triple and it was really exciting and it was really good timing,” Northcutt said.
Woodbridge trailed 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning but pushed across four runs to tie the game and sent it to extra innings.
Aryn Guzman had a two-run double and Danica Bishop had a two-run double to tie the game. Bishop came close to hitting the ball over the fence and winning it for the Warriors.
But the Warriors could not hold onto the lead in extra innings.
“It’s a tough one to lose, but it was a great game,” Woodbridge Coach Alan Dugard said. “The girls never quit. We had a lot of opportunities and we didn’t do well, but they played a really great ball game.
“You have to give them all the credit in the world. They put in on the ground and that’s the way you win ball games. Another five feet and Danica’s (ball) would have been out of here.”
Northwood scored a run in the second inning and another in the third before Woodbridge countered with a run in the fourth inning.
The Timberwolves held a 2-1 lead going into the top of the seventh but scored three runs to give Thomas a cushion. Lauren Han drove in two runs with a single and Alyssa Compton drove in another with a single.
Northwood wound up with 13 hits. Lindsay Thomas was 3 for 4 with a run scored and Han was 3 for 5 with three RBI, including a squeeze in the third inning.
Guzman was 2 for 5 with two RBI and a run scored and Annie Dowling was 2 for 4 with an RBI to lead Woodbridge’s offensive attack.
Alicia Takamura had two hits for the Warriors.