HARRISONBURG, VA., JUNE 1 -- Nothing in life is free -- except bases on balls.
And Park View took full advantage of the 15 walks it received at Purcell Park tonight, scoring three runs in a seventh-inning comeback to upend Salem, 10-9, in a Group AA semifinal softball game.
Park View opened the seventh with three straight walks. Whitley Long then entered the game and surrendered one run on a fielder's choice.
With two outs Long tossed two two-out wild pitches, allowing the tying and winning runs to score.
"Some teams may have given up down 9-7 in the seventh, but we dug in deep and decided we were going to pull it out," Park View Coach Beth Walker said. "We fought the entire game."
Park View (18-5) takes on Lord Botetourt, a 3-2 winner over Fort Defiance, here Saturday at 1 p.m. for the state title.
Nine batters sauntered to the plate in Salem's six-run sixth. Michelle Harrison opened the scoring with an RBI single up the middle, then came home with Debbie Cobb on Tracy Palmer's double.
Leigh Stull's sacrifice fly tied the score at 7, then Kelly Robinson tripled to right and scored when the relay throw sailed over the catcher's head.
The Patriots did much of their damage with free passes in the third, as Palmer walked four in a row to open the inning. A single, two errors and a new Salem hurler (Cobb) later, Park View had a 5-2 lead.
Salem scored its first two runs in the second on designated hitter Yolanda Helm's double.
Park View added two in the fourth. With two outs, Jodi Rymer singled; she later scored on Nikki Tingsley's single. The other run scored on an error.
Park View center fielder Pam Freedman was a defensive stalwart, making a diving stab of a low liner in the fourth and a leaping grab in the fifth. In the bottom of the seventh, Freedman landed in the infield, ball in glove, game in hand.