LUTZ — When opposing runners get into scoring position, Chamberlain pitcher Rachel Dwyer keeps the positive thoughts.
“Just because someone’s on (base) doesn’t mean they have to score,” she said.
The junior right-hander escaped a pair of mid-game jams and went the distance on a three-hitter as No. 1 seed Chamberlain edged No. 3 Steinbrenner 2-1 Thursday night for the Class 7A, District 9 championship.
Chamberlain (22-7) scored two first-inning runs on Kelly Smith’s one-out bases-loaded single, and Dwyer made them stand up. She threw 102 pitches — 15 more than normal, she said — with 57 for strikes. After walking three in the first three innings, Dwyer retired eight of the final nine batters.
Kaylee Ferrell’s RBI single in the third was the only run off Dwyer. In the fourth and fifth innings, Steinbrenner (11-8) advanced a runner on second with one out. But Dwyer preserved the lead both times.
“I just try to bear down when (runners) are on second,” Dwyer said.
Warriors pitcher Kellee Ramsey allowed only three hits after the first inning.
“She settled in and pitched a phenomenal game the rest of the way,” Steinbrenner coach Colleen Sanders said. “We definitely had our opportunities, and struggled a little getting our runners in. But we have the bats, the potential and the talent (to score). Next Wednesday (for regionals), I hope those bats come through.”
8A-7: At Plant, the area’s wildest game of the night ended with top-seeded Durant scoring 11 runs in the top of the sixth, erasing what had been an 11-run deficit for a 15-13 triumph over No. 2-seeded Alonso.
The Cougars (19-4), who needed Kelli Tidwell’s eighth-inning walk-off home run to defeat Wharton in Tuesday’s semifinals, trailed by deficits of 11-0 and 13-4 before rallying.
Shannon Bell’s two-run home run highlighted the Cougars’ sixth-inning barrage.
5A-11: At Robinson, a constellation of career nights helped propel the top-seeded hosts to their first district title in seven years with a five-inning, 15-3 romp of Lennard.
Senior ace Sarah Miller tossed a three-hitter while going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double.
Senior Katelin Stephens and junior Lauren Foltz both homered, with Stephens finishing 3-for-4 with a double and five RBIs. Alexis Jackson went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs.
Staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report