EMORY, Va. – Holston High School’s hopes of reaching the finals of the Hogoheegee District softball tournament died by the Swords.
Lauren Sword and Lindsey Sword – twin sisters – each drove in a run to help Northwood notch a 4-1 victory over Holston on Thursday in the semifinals of the Hogoheegee tourney at Emory & Henry College.
The Panthers (14-3) clinched a Region 1D tournament berth and will tangle with Smyth County rival Chilhowie today in the district tourney title game.
Who powered Northwood at the plate?
“The twin sisters had a big day,” said Northwood coach B.J. Buchanan.
Lauren Sword, a junior outfielder, broke a 1-1 deadlock in the fourth inning when she delivered a one-out RBI single to right field.
“I was trying to just hit the ball and get the run in,” Sword said.
It was as simple as that for a player who has excelled in similar situations.
“Lauren’s done that a lot this year – she’s had several big hits,” Buchanan said. “I don’t know if she sneaks up on people or what, but she hits the ball hard.”
Meanwhile, Lindsey Sword went 2-for-4 and drove in the final run of the game in the sixth inning.
Just consider it Northwood’s brand of Swordsmanship.
“The [Sword Sisters] may be small in size but they are tough as nails,” Buchanan said. “They are hard-nosed ballplayers.”
Lexie Woodward also had an RBI for Northwood, which got a strong pitching performance from Nancy Jo Roberts.
After allowing one run on two hits in the first inning, Roberts yielded just three hits the rest of the way. She struck out five.
“She pitched real well and she has just about every game this year,” Buchanan said.
Abbey Conde (2-for-3) scored Holston’s lone run on an RBI single by Jordan Lowe in the first inning. The Cavaliers left six runners on.
“We’ve struggled this year at the plate a little bit,” said Holston coach Robbie Vannoy. “We’re coming along and have improved a lot since the beginning of the season. I feel like the last few games we’ve played some of our best softball.”
After suffering a 6-4 loss to Chilhowie on Monday, Northwood returned to its winning ways.
“It was a good way to bounce back,” Buchanan said.
Chilhowie 11, Patrick Henry 5
CHILHOWIE, Va. – It’s been go time for Jenna Gollehon.
The Chilhowie senior went 3-for-4 with five RBIs in continuing her productive week as the Warriors posted a win over Patrick Henry.
The second semifinal game of the Hogoheegee tournament was originally scheduled to be played at Emory & Henry College, but a heavy rainfall forced the contest to be moved to Chilhowie’s facility.
“It was a long day,” said Chilhowie coach John Sabo. “But you’ve just got to stay focused the whole time and we weren’t always focused.”
The Warriors finished with five errors, but made up for it with an offensive attack paced by Gollehon.
She hit a grand slam to highlight Chilhowie’s 6-4 win over Northwood on Monday in a one-game playoff that produced a Region 1D tournament bid for the Warriors.
Gollehon narrowly missed another grand slam on Thursday, settling for a three-run double when a blast off her bat in the second inning smacked off the outfield fence.
She also had an RBI single in the first inning and a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
“It’s always good when you get your cleanup hitter hitting like that,” Sabo said. “She’s been taking extra batting practice and working hard in the batting cage.”
Winning pitcher Emily Frye added two hits for the Warriors (15-2), while Georgia Luttrell drove in two runs.
Kaycee Deskins had two hits for Patrick Henry, which plays Holston today in the third-place game of the district tournament.
Meanwhile, Chilhowie will play Northwood for the fourth time in 2018 in the championship game.
“It’s always a challenge when you play them,” Sabo said.