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Gary Harmon/HHJ Hannah Kate Jones, Westfield infielder, applies a tag on Loganville Christian's Kadie Hobbs Thursday.
Gary Harmon/HHJ Laura Johnson of Westfield is safe at second as Loganville Christian's throw goes wide of the mark.
Journal Sports Writer
Westfield’s softball club was pushed to a third and deciding game in its latest GISA playoff series.
Game 3, which followed the first two Kyle Davis’ Hornets played against Loganville Christian Thursday at home, didn’t even go the full seven innings. With a 13-0 four-inning whitewashing, Westfield is back in the AAA semifinals and will square off with Mt. de Sales at noon today (Saturday) at the Southern Pines Complex in Dublin.
Under the format of the past two years, Westfield needs to win two times today to qualify for the final best-of-3 series (for the third year in a row) that will take place Oct. 20 in Dublin.
Sydney Barker pitched all three games. Westfield had a five-run inning in Game 1, and that was enough to give its pitcher a 5-1 victory. But in Game 2, Loganville Christian jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and held on to level the series with a 5-2 win.
The visiting Lions put their leadoff batter on base in each of the first three innings … and that was it. Barker retired three in a row after each occasion, striking out only one.
The top of the fourth was interesting, but only in Loganville’s attempt to extend the game. The Lions loaded the bases with two hits and one walk, but Chelsea Whaley’s athletic play at shortstop – smothering a grounder up the middle and reaching out her foot to touch the base – ended the long day of softball.
On the offensive side, Westfield batted around to score five runs in the first inning and sent 12 batters to the plate for eight runs in the second. The Hornets couldn’t score in the third despite a Hannah Livingston single and Hannah Edwards’ double.
That was the capper to a big slugging day by Edwards, the right fielder. She hit a three-run double in Game 1 and went over the fence for a Game 2 solo home run.
All of the first inning runs Westfield had in Game 3 scored with two outs showing. Livingston – who had three hits overall in that contest – connected on an 0-2 pitch for a two-run single in straightaway center. Edwards then doubled her home and scored on a wild relay throw from right.
Loganville Christian often hurt itself with wayward throws. That’s how Jenni McDaniel scored later in the inning as Hannah Kate Jones put an 0-2 pitch in play.
Barker had two hits in Westfield’s big second inning and drove in the 13th and final run. Laura Johnson singled in two runs as did McDaniel, and Livingston had her third RBI on a hit.
Loganville Christian left seven runners on base after getting seven hits off Barker. None of those safties had anything to do with the lone Lion run, which came home on a walk and error in the fifth inning.
Westfield left two runners on base without scoring in the bottom of the second, but used all nine batters in a third-inning outburst of five runs.
Liza McDaniel, the No. 9 hitter leading off, singled by the second baseman, and Callie Hammerle beat out a bunt hit. Loganville Christian, trying to get Liza out, had no backup for a throw to second base that rolled alone to the outfield. With that, Westfield led 1-0.
Hammerle, who advanced to third, scored later on a pickoff error.
Whaley followed Barker’s walk with a hit, but both were still on base after two strikeouts. Jenni McDaniel was hit to fill the bases, and Edwards went deep to the leftfield wall bringing home all three runs.
Hammerle had two more hits, and Livingston bunted for a single, but the Hornets added no more runs. Barker struck out five and ended the game with her only perfect frame.
The Lions scored two runs in the first and two in the second playing as the ‘home team’ and didn’t look back. Krista Roe, who threw a complete game in Game 1, followed it up with a winning effort in which she struck out six and allowed seven hits.
Barker, for her part, gave up one walk, two hits and one run after the second inning. One of those was a solo home run by freshman catcher Katie Carney, who had five hits in the first two games.
Carney singled with two outs in the bottom of the first, and with an error and single from Roe, the Lions had the bases filled. Kadie Hobbs, another Loganville Christian player with a strong offensive day, doubled to deep center scoring two runs.
J. McDaniel ended it at 2-0 by throwing out the third runner, Hammerle making the tag on the shoulder.
The Lions loaded the bases again in the second on two hits and a walk. It looked like they cost themselves a run by not tagging up on a deep fly to left. But Carney was next, and she ripped a two-run double to left.
Westfield’s first run came in the third on consecutive singles by Hammerle and Barker with a big throwing error on Barker’s hit to right. Edwards homered with two outs after Loganville Christian turned a double play in the fourth.
Carney homered leading off the bottom of the fifth.
Livingston had two hits, including a double on 0-2 leading off the second. She was also part of a relay out against Hobbs, who tried to get a double in the third.

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