A run-scoring single off the bat of T.J. Watts in the bottom of the sixth inning untied the score and the #3 seed Petaluma softball team went on to defeat Alameda 5-4 Friday afternoon in the North Coast Section playoffs at .
The win moves the Trojans to the semi-finals where they will face either Rancho Cotate or Concord next week.
"We knew it was going to be a very tough game," said Petaluma High coach Kurt Jastrow. "For a second round game, this is the toughest one I've ever had."
The Trojans got a pair of runs in the first inning to open up the scoring off of Alameda pitcher Katherine Johnson. Allie Corids brought in Watts with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Chelsea Martin.
Alameda came right back to tie the game at two apiece in the top of the second. Johnson helped her cause by doubling in Drew Jones and Anastasia Scheichl hit a fly ball to right to bring in the second run.
Petaluma pitcher Gina Barnacle worked herself into a jam in the Hornet half of the fourth. A hit batter, a walk, and an infield single loaded the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch and a squeeze play executed by Scheichl gave Alameda a 4-2 advantage. Shortstop Martin threw out a runner trying to score on a groundball and Barnacle got a fly ball to limit the damage and end the frame.
The lead was quickly cut in half when Martin blasted a homer to right-center to lead off the fourth. Then with two outs, the T-Girls caught a break when the third strike was dropped by the Alameda catcher and Jazz Chadwick reached first base.
“We gave away a lot of bases that we shouldn't have and it came back to bite us,” said Alameda coach Dan McCarthy. “That's softball, that's how it goes. They had timely hitting when we allowed those baserunners.”
Stranding runners in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth innings, Barnacle gave her team a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. "You have to have a memory of three seconds, you can't let anything get to you," Barnacle said. "I have to give a big thanks to my team because they definitely picked up the slack."
Again with two away, the Trojans made another charge in their half of the sixth. A bloop single over second base and a walk set Watts up for her clutch at-bat. She took the first pitch she saw from Johnson and stroked it into right field.
"I struck out before on an outside pitch, so I knew she would bring it there again," Watts said. "I was just waiting for it and if it was in the zone I was going to swing."
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