Zoie Hanagriff gave her team everything she had Saturday, but it just wasn’t enough.
Northside Christian’s junior star had to be carried off the field after stepping awkwardly on the bag at first base in the fifth inning of Saturday’s Class C semifinal against St. Joseph’s of Plaucheville in the Fast Pitch 56 softball tournament at Frasch Park.
Despite not being able to put weight on her leg, Hanagriff re-entered the game in the top of the seventh.
“She’d been hitting the ball well all weekend,” Northside Christian coach Ryan Hanagriff said. “I was trusting that she would be put the bat on the ball, preferably on the right side where we can score the run, and that’s exactly what she did.”
With her team down by a run, Hanagriff managed to hit a ground ball in the infield, which scored the game-tying run.
Unfortunately that gutty effort wasn’t enough as No. 3 Northside Christian fell to No. 2 St. Joseph’s 4-3.
“We’ve had an absolute great season,” Hanagriff said. “We had done well in district, and we knew if we played our game that we would go deep in the playoffs. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Northside Christian (21-3) got on the scoreboard first as Hanagriff doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice two batters later. St. Joseph’s answered with three runs in the bottom of the second.
St. Joseph’s (22-4) couldn’t build on that lead, though as Northside Christian’s Angel Allen, who came in the fourth inning, gave up only one hit in the first three innings she pitched.
The Warriors, though, were facing the same issue as they couldn’t get anything going against Macey Foruin who gave up just four hits in the first five innings.
“She kept the ball in all game,” Hanagriff said. “She kept us jammed up and we just didn’t hit like we hoped for.”
Northside Christian broke through in the top of the seventh, but St. Joseph’s put the game away in the bottom of the inning.
With two outs and a runner on first and second, St. Joseph’s junior catcher Alexis Barker dropped a single in between third base and shortstop which scored Emily Link for the winning run.
Northside Christian was trying to advance to the championship game for the second straight season. Northside Christian lost to Hackberry 10-0 last season.
With the team losing only two starters, Hanagriff is confident his team can return to Sulphur in 2016.
“We tell these girls that we are going to work hard and be contenders every year,” Hanagriff said. “That’s our long-term goal. We told them that at the end of the game (Saturday), and we are going to tell them every day from here on out.”