RIDGELAND -- The Northwood Academy softball team won its first state championship with its second straight 5-1 victory over Thomas Heyward in the best-of-three series.

Northwood won 5-1 at home Monday night and posted the same score on the road Tuesday night to win the SCISA Class AAA title.

"It's exciting, very exciting," Northwood coach Becky Ellison said. "Words can't describe it. I talked often to the girls about the thrill of winning a state championship, and now they know. I knew we had good senior leadership and the girls worked hard. They wanted to practice all the time. They wanted to practice on Sunday. They wanted to practice 24/7."

After surviving five consecutive elimination games, Thomas Heyward's season finally ended.

Northwood had nine hits to back pitcher Taylor Luff, who struck out seven. Ashland Jordan went 2 for 3 to lead the Chargers. Jessica Graham and Danel Phillips went 2 for 4.

The Chargers led 2-0 in the first on Sam Chubb's two-run double, but the Rebels closed to within 2-1 in the second. That's where the score remained until Northwood put up three runs in the top of the seventh.

Taylor Ernestine was 2 for 3 to lead Thomas Heyward.

"I'm very proud of them," Thomas Heyward coach Bob Layman said. "We faced five straight elimination games and battled back."

Said Ellison: "This team played as a team. We fought hard all year. Now we can enjoy what hard work accomplishes."

Northwood Ac. 200 000 3--5 9 2

Th. Heyward 010 000 0--1 4 2

WP--Luff. LP--Layman