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New Haven rides 15-run fifth to victory over Cardinal Mooney WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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New Haven is still in position to make school softball history.

Four Rockets scored two runs apiece during a 15-run fifth inning that carried New Haven to a 21-4 victory over Cardinal Mooney in a state Division 3 district qualifying game Tuesday.

The Cardinals, the “home” team despite playing on the Rockets’ diamond, scored four times in the bottom of the fourth to cut into a six-run deficit, but Shelby Kovalewski, Raychael Bank, winning pitcher Taylor Jones and Hailey Minelli scored two runs each in the top of the fifth as New Haven advanced to play Almont in a district semifinal Friday.

It was the Rockets’ first tournament victory under fifth-year coach Samantha Wiles.

New Haven (15-4) will go for the first district championship in program history when the MAC Silver Division champions entertain a field that includes semifinal opponents Capac and Memphis.

“If they stay on top of their game and play defense like I know they can, then I think they’ll go far in the district,” Wiles said of her players. “Hopefully we can move on against Almont. They’re a solid team.”

New Haven closed out the five-inning game by keeping Catholic League member Cardinal Mooney from scoring in the bottom of the fifth. Jones got the final out when she threw to first after fielding a ground ball.

The Rockets and Cardinals were scoreless through two innings, but Bank singled in a run and another scored when Jones hit into a fielder’s choice during a six-run third.

“We need to work on our bats,” Wiles said. “They (the Cardinals) are more of a fast-pitch team. It sometimes takes us time to adjust to pitching.”

New Haven plays Almont at noon in the first district semifinal.

Capac takes on Memphis at 2 p.m., and the championship game will follow.

The winner of the New Haven district plays at the Lutheran Northwest regional tournament on June 10.

Last Updated: 5/30/2017 10:14:54 PM EST