Thursday rains delayed start of match-up against Northview

After a rain delay that pushed the game to Friday night, the Lady Seahawks fell 5-1 to the Northview Lady Chiefs in the Class 1A regional softball semifinals in Century, in northern Escambia County, ending their season at 19-8.

Rain had prompted cancellation of Thursday night’s showdown between the Franklin County Lady Seahawks. Coach Scott Collins said the field at Northview was underwater at game time.

“An unexpected front moved in from out of the gulf; none of us knew it was coming,” he said.

Northview took the Lady Seahawks out for breakfast at the Waffle House this morning, and then took it to them that evening.

Franklin County got on the board first, with senior Melanie Collins singling, and then freshman Brooklyn O’Neal driving her home with a double.

But that would be all the hit production for the night.

“We had to deal with an officiating crew that kept calling illegal pitches for the first two innings. It was a tough start and we weren’t able to overcome the adversity,” said coach Scott Collins. “The backup pitcher for Northview kept us off balance all night. We aren’t used to slow pitching and after she came in in the second inning, we didn’t get a hit.”

Junior Jalyin Charles was on the mound for four-and-two-thirds innings, and gave up a pair of unearned runs on three hits, struck out three and walked two. O’Neal pitched the rest of the game, and gave up three earned runs on one hit, striking out one and walking one.

On Tuesday in Wewahitchka, Haley Guffey tossed a three-hitter and the defending state champion Lady Gators (20-6) pounded out 14 hits as they downed Northview to win the Region 1-1A title and earn a return trip to the state Class 1A Final Four.

This is Wewahitchka’s fourth consecutive region title and trip to the state semifinals.

Guffey handcuffed Northview the entire way in the region title game, allowing a single run in the top of the seventh by which time the game was far out of reach. She struck out six and walked three.

The Lady Gators had just one extra-base hit, a double by Guffey who also singled and drove in two runs.

On Thursday, the Lady Gators scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, to win 4-3 against Jay and advance to the region title game.

Wewahitchka scored two in the third inning and another in the fifth before Jay bounced back to tie the game with three runs in the top of the seventh.