CORTLAND - The way Taylor Waid had it figured, she would pitch about four innings before moving to another position to give her right arm some needed rest.
Maybe Waid will get that rest today. She deserves it after pitching an 11-inning shutout for the Lakeview Bulldogs in their 2-0 win over the Ursuline Fighting Irish Thursday at the Candlelite Knolls complex.
"She only wanted to pitch four innings because she pitched the last few games and they've been tough games," Bulldogs coach Vicki Lawrence said. "Her momentum and adrenaline just got her through there. She's getting more confidence every game. She's our horse until the end now."
Waid scattered eight hits, struck out eight and walked only one batter. The Irish had nine players in scoring position, but Waid handled the challenge each time.
"When it got intense, we just need to keep our composure as much as we can," Waid said. "We get excited, but we try the best we can to play it like normal."
Waid's biggest challenge occurred when the Irish loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. What happened next might be one of the most bizarre happenings in area softball this season. It started when McKenzie Stimpert hit an infield popup. The home-plate umpire called the infield fly rule, which meant Stimpert was automatically out.
Things got crazy when second baseman Brooke Waid dropped the ball. According to the rule, runners can advance at their peril, but no force outs are allowed. Stephanie O'Halek, who was at third, took off for home, where she was tagged out by catcher Alyssa Nicholas. The Bulldogs then threw to first thinking they could get a force out and a triple play, but Christina Xenakis, the runner at first, had advanced to second.
While the Bulldogs were celebrating what appeared to be a rarity, the umpires sorted through the details and ruled that there were two outs with runners on second and third. Waid had to return to the circle and focus on retiring Anny Carroll, who grounded out.
"I was a little nervous," Waid said. "The next batter comes up and you throw the next pitch."
The Bulldogs (10-7) ended the scoreless streak when Caitlin McDivitt doubled for the second time and came around to score on a wild pitch. Lauren Casassa, who was hit by a pitch after McDivitt's double, scored on a single by Haley Ball.
Waid helped her cause with a brilliant fielding game. She was credited with six assists and a putout when she grabbed a line drive off the bat of Megan Ross to end the game.
Makayla Shore went the distance for Ursuline (16-7) to take the loss. She allowed 10 hits, struck out eight and walked two.
The intensity of play gave the game a tournament feel.
"Our kids are trying to play a high caliber of ball to prepare us for the tournament," Irish coach Michael Kernan said. "We like to get in dog fights like this, and we have to learn how to win them."