05/04/12 — Princeton ties Rosewood for league crown

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Princeton ties Rosewood for league crown

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 4, 2012 1:48 PM

PRINCETON -- Katlyn Peedin wasn't about to let archrival Rosewood spoil senior night, much less walk away as the outright Carolina 1-A Conference softball champion Thursday evening.

So she made sure Princeton had something to celebrate.

The senior first baseman provided the game-winning hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, and capped the Bulldawgs' come-from-behind, 5-4 triumph on the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex diamond.

"We knew we had to win this game if we wanted part of the conference (title)," said Peedin, who batted 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Princeton (13-7 overall, 8-2 CC) earned a share of its third straight regular-season crown and seized the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, which begin May 11.

The Eagles captured a portion of their first Carolina title since 2001, but dropped to the No. 2 seed since the Dawgs swept the regular-season series. Rosewood (17-3, 8-2) had its six-game win streak snapped.

"It is bittersweet," Eagles head coach Shay Campbell said. "You hate to lose to a team twice, but it is what it is. I don't like the co-champion label, but I guess for the girls' sake, we'll take it.

"That's not what we were looking for."

Rosewood expected to see hard-throwing right-hander Tori Paul start inside the pitcher's circle, but faced Logan Jones instead. A slower hurler, Jones threw off-speed pitches to keep the Eagles frustrated in the batter's box.

Until the third inning.

Alicia Burns and Amanda Beckert stroked back-to-back singles into center and left field, respectively, to start a four-run uprising. Burns scored on Beckert's base knock. Scout Anderson drew the second of her three walks and Beckert scampered home on Megann Tyndall's RBI groundout.

Callie Thornton and Anna Ingram capped the surge with consecutive RBI doubles to deep left field. Rosewood led 4-1 after Princeton scratched during its first at-bat.

"Nerves," Peedin said. "It was a matter us of getting our head back in the game."

It didn't take long for the Dawgs.

The Eagles aided their archrival's third-inning response with four defensive miscues that sparked a game-tying, three-run rally. Savanna Massengill supplied the lone RBI hit.

"Errors killed us, cost us some runs," Campbell said.

Paul took over for Jones and allowed one base runner during the fourth, fifth and sixth innings combined. She retired eight straight before yielding a one-out walk to Anderson in the seventh.

Peedin's game-winning, two-out knock came after Rosewood's defense shot down one runner at third base on a fielder's choice.

"An inside pitch," Peedin said of Beckert's offering. "I thought it was going foul, but the umpire pointed that it was in (fair territory)."

Rosewood attempted small-ball tactics in the seventh after Anderson walked. Tyndall reached on a bunt when the Dawgs failed to cover first base. But Princeton successfully defended the next two bunts to preserve its third consecutive win in the long-time series.