LIZTON -- It took two days to complete, but Cloverdale topped North Putnam in a rain-delayed pitchers' duel 2-1.
Leah Crosby put the Cougars up 1-0 in the second, driving in Taylor Alles.
The Clovers came back in the bottom half, though, as Kristen McCammon reached on a bunt, stole two bases, and scored on an error.
Brianna Hoff scored the winning run in the sixth on a bunt by Sam Smith.
Paige Gutierrez picked up the win for the Clovers, allowing a run on two hits while fanning six.
Taylor Judy was the hard-luck loser, allowing two runs while facing just three over the minimum. She struck out 11.
NP coach Jim Brothers reflected on another strong season that ended too soon.
"We had a pretty good year," Brothers said. "We finished the season strong. We were playing some of our best softball coming into the tournament. Like most of our losses, it was a play here and there. We have to get over and make those plays, and we just didn't."
The game was delayed on Wednesday night in the bottom of the sixth. When play resumed Thursday, the Cougars had Ashley Curry on second and two outs with senior Leah Crosby at the plate. Although Crosby struck out, Brothers said he liked his chances in the situation.
"It was tough coming back tonight, but if I had to pick a kid to have in that situation, it'd be Leah Crosby. She's been a clutch hitter for us all along, and we were confident she was going to get a hit for us," the coach said. "We came up a little short for us today, but Leah's been a great player for us who's had an outstanding attitude."
The Cougars will be losing Crosby and fellow four-year player Logan Doyle to graduation, along with Alles, who played for the first time as a senior. Brothers praised all three players for not only their skills, but their attitudes and leadership qualities.
For the rest of the Cougars, though, there's still next year. The coach looks forward to another successful season in 2010.
"We've got a good nucleus of people coming back," Brothers said. "We've got to get better in some areas and just improve. We've been competitive two years in a row. We were better this year than last year.
"We've got to get over the hump and fill a couple of spots that we graduate and just get better at the spots we're already at," he concluded.
Softball Sectional #46
Cloverdale 010 001 0 -- 2 3 1
North Putnam 010 000 0 -- 1 2 1
WP -- Gutierrez
LP -- Judy
North Putnam finishes the season 16-6.