The CSAS Lady Patriots and the Silverdale Lady Seahawks played softball for the fifth time this season on Friday morning at Warner Park and third time this week.
Both teams had won twice previously, but it was CSAS that got the biggest win of the season as the Lady Patriots captured their first-ever District 5-A softball tournament championship with the come-from-behind 5-2 win.
Silverdale had prevailed on Thursday with a 9-7 win, forcing Friday's deciding game.
Madi Hancock had given the Lady Seahawks an early lead with a solo homer in the second and Silverdlae made it 2-0 when Hancock got a bases-loaded walk an inning later.
The Lady Patriots didn't stay down for long as they scored three in the third on a three-run homer by Jamani Greer, one of two CSAS players with two hits for the game.
Solo runs in the fourth and fifth just gave the Lady Patriots a little breathing room as Silverdale was unable to score after the third inning.
Senior Brianna Taylor, who has been the workhorse in the circle for the Lady Patriots all season, earned another victory, although she allowed 11 hits and four walks while hitting two. She also struck out four.
The Lady Seahawks had plenty of scoring opportunities, but every time Silverdale threatened, Taylor made a perfect pitch and her Lady Patriots played errorless defense behind her.
"I feel good," Taylor said after a brief water balloon battle with the CSAS coaches following the championship game.
"I'm proud of my team as it was a group effort today. I wasn't at my best, but it was good enough for us to win. This is a historical moment as we have never won this tournament before, but we knew what we had to do when we got here this morning," she added.
CSAS head coach Kaity Holloway couldn't have been any more proud of the way her girls bounced back less than 24 hours after losing 9-7 to Silverdale when they made a ton of errors.
"What a great game," Holloway said after her team had improved to 21-10-1 for the season.
"I told them after last night's game that they needed to go home, get some rest, relax and come back ready to play this morning. That's what they did and I'm extremely proud of them. It was all mental at this point, but they deserved it. I couldn't ask for anything more.
"They were relaxed, so all they had to do was play ball. They executed when they had to, but this is the first time we've won the district tournament, so we're all very happy," the second-year head coach added.
Silverdale coach Tim Couch knows that his team is down right now, but they're not out.
"We just got beat by a good team. The big home run obviously hurt and it's disappointing to come up short, but we know the season isn't over. We just have to win and advance from here on out," Couch said after his team fell to 22-11.
"I have confidence that we can play with anyone, but today we left a bunch of runners on base and we left a pitch up against a very good hitter. They made more plays than we did and they're so good at the plate. We knew that we'd have to score some runs. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to play again," he added.
Silverdale finished with 11 hits, but the Lady Seahawks also left 13 runners stranded.
Leadoff hitter Allison Meadows had a triple among three hits while Taylor Moran also had a couple of singles. Hancock had a fifth-inning single to go along with her home run.
Britney Patmon and Greer were the only two CSAS players with two hits.
Patmon doubled in the third and fifth innings and the second one drove in Greer with the final run of the game. Greer had the big three-run homer and a double and scored two of the five runs.
While Taylor was the winning pitcher, freshman Emily Harkleroad was the loser after allowing all five runs on eight hits. She also issued three walks and finished with two strikeouts.
CSAS will be at home (Warner Park) on Monday to face Marion County while Silverdale will take a little trip over the mountain to face the Whitwell Lady Tigers.
SILVERDALE 011 000 0 -- 2 11 2
ARTS & SCIENCES 003 110 x -- 5 8 0
Harkleroad and Hancock; Taylor and Suttles.
(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)