LAWRENCE — It took extra innings, but the No. 3-seeded Northwest softball team rallied to beat sixth-seeded Hutchinson and advance to the Class 6A semifinals.
The Grizzlies (19-4) beat the Salthawks 6-5 in eight innings on Thursday evening at Rock Chalk Park, ending a wild game that saw runs scored in all but one inning.
“I think we had a few more mistakes,” Northwest coach Cody Stucky said. “But obviously, timely hitting is what it’s about.”
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Grizzlies pitcher Alex Jennings smacked the game-winning hit toward the warning track in center field, driving in the winning run.
Northwest led 1-0 lead after the first inning but didn’t regain the lead until Jennings’ game-winning hit. Hutchinson held a 3-1 lead after two, 4-3 after four and 5-4 after the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the frame, Isabel McCarty tied the game at 5 with an RBI double, setting the stage for Jennings’ game-winner in the eighth inning.
“We’ve been in some of those close games,” Stucky said. “I had faith in them. We just had to keep it close.”
Northwest will play second-seeded Olathe Northwest in Friday morning’s semifinals. The winner will face Olathe North or Olathe South in the final.
Olathe Northwest 4, Derby 2 – Olathe Northwest (21-2) ended Derby’s fifth straight state softball appearance with a fourth quarterfinals loss.
Olathe Northwest’s Reagan Hathaway smacked a solo shot over the right-field wall in the first inning, and Halle England added an RBI single to left field in the fourth. Olathe Northwest added two more runs in the fifth.
Derby provided a scare in the seventh by scoring two runs with no outs, but ultimately stranded runners on second and third to end the game.
“We just waited to long to score,” Derby coach Christy Weve said. “You can’t wait that long against teams like that.”
W. Northwest 6, Hutchinson 5
|Hutchinson||030||100||10||–||5 7 1|
|W. Northwest||102||010||11||–||6 11 1|
W — Jennings. L – Hilty.
Olathe NW 4, Derby 2
|Derby||000||000||2||–||2 5 1|
|O. Northwest||100||120||x||–||4 6 0|
W — Herrin. L – Godown. HR – O. Northwest, Hathaway.