By John Middleton
LONDON - It took two days and eight innings, but the North Laurel edged the Tri-City All-Stars 13-12 on Monday to capture the District 4 (11-12) championship.
After Tri-City failed to score in the top of the eighth, North’s Madison McDaniel singled to left field to drive in Alexis Gibson for the winning run in the bottom of the inning.
“I’m really proud of the way all of the girls played. They battled hard. North Laurel is a really good team, and we gave them everything they wanted,” said Tri-City coach Ronnie Cox. “It was a back and forth game and we came out on the low end. They are a great bunch of girls. They really worked hard and deserved everything they got.”
Tri-City took a commanding lead early as Destinee Jenkins, Autumn Dunaway, Haley Blakley, Taylor Johnson and Regan Caudill each crossed home plate in the first inning.
North responded with one run in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth to go up 7-5. However, just as North Laurel appeared to gain the momentum, Tri-City responded with four runs in the fifth innings to take a two-run lead. Nikki Creech, Jenkins, Caudill and Shawnee Cress each scored in the fifth.
North answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at nine.
Tri-City appeared to go up for good with three runs in the final inning of regulation. Blakley, Johnson and Cress all scores to put the Tri-City All-Stars on top 12-9 in the sixth inning. However, North responded once again. This time North reeled off three runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
The teams exchanged defensive stands in the seventh inning, before North Laurel walked off with the win in the eighth inning.
The Tri-City offense pounded out 22 hits in the loss. Cress had four singles to lead Tri-City at the plate. Jenkins contributed a double and two singles. Creech and Johnson each recorded three singles. Caudill tallied a pair of doubles. Blakley and Kacie Russell each had a double and a single. Dunaway, Lainey Cox and Whitney Halcomb each added a single.
Russell struck out five batters in the complete-game effort on the mound.
“Kacie really battled. North is just a good hitting team,” Cox said.
North Laurel, the defending state champion, advances to the state tournament in Winchester.
Tri-City 500 043 00 - 12
North Laurel 012 423 01 - 13
Russell and Johnson; McDaniel, Jervis (3) and Marcum. WP - Jervis. LP - Russell.