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Five late runs lift Lady Cats to win

Five late runs lift Lady Cats to win
Five late runs lift Lady Cats to win
North Harrison first baseman Brooke Lamon turns and fires to first on a Clarksville bunt attempt while pitcher Alyssa McAfee (5) looks on. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Four runs in the top of the fifth inning helped propel the North Harrison softball team to a 5-1 victory at Clarksville on a brisk and windy Thursday afternoon.
Miranda Whelan and Brooke Lamon connected for back-to-back two-run singles in the pivotal inning. It capped a two-hit performance from both players.
‘We played a good, focused game tonight and hit the ball hard late in the game when we needed to,’ said North Harrison coach John Lambert.
Following a four-pitch fourth inning from Lady Cats twirler Alyssa McAfee, the offense went to work when trailing 1-0.
Tabby Bozynski led off the inning by drawing a walk and advanced to second when McAfee executed a sacrifice bunt. Grinding through a long at-bat, Kendra Lambert drew another walk for the Lady Cats.
With the wind blowing in, Kenedy House sent a deep fly ball to right field that was caught in front of the fence. With two outs, Amber Longest loaded the bases with a walk, setting up the run-scoring single from Whelan to left center. Lamon plated two additional runs to make the score 4-1 with a blooper over first base.
‘This is our fourth game. Our first three have been slow starts ‘ get through the order one time ‘ time it up, and get things going,’ Lambert said. ‘Tonight, it looks like a team that is ready to start playing ball. I’m pleased with the effort, top to bottom. We are not a juggernaut, but a team that can put the ball in play and run. Nothing to complain about.’
The success in the inning came from working Clarksville pitcher Amber Perez by fouling off several pitches while attempting slap hits.
‘We started last winter working on heavy bats with learning to slap,’ Lambert said. ‘Once into practice, we worked on our right-handers to slap. Tonight, the kids did that and I think it bothered Clarksville. The first four innings, Perez was really nice. But once we tried different things, we got the lead.’
Clarksville put the first two runners on in the fifth inning, but a double play ended the threat. A sharply hit ball to Lambert at shortstop was knocked down. She tagged the runner and flipped to House at second for the double play.
‘The double-play ball was nice. If she does what we practice, we get one out. But the ball squirted loose and it was a heads up to get a double play out of it. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,’ said coach Lambert, adding that the team turned a 3-6-4 double play the night before against Springs Valley.
North Harrison added an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Lambert drilled a double down the left-field line to score McAfee.
McAfee was impressive in the circle much of the night. She didn’t allow a base runner in the final two innings while recording four of her eight strikeouts.
‘Alyssa pitched great tonight,’ Lambert said. ‘The strike zone moved a bit on her, but she came back and kept finding the spot to get people out. They hit a few balls hard, which is hard to do against her.’
North Harrison has another busy week, hosting Floyd Central tonight (Wednesday) at 5 and rival Corydon Central tomorrow (5 p.m.), followed by playing in the Jasper Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Lady Cats win Providence Invite
North Harrison completed a successful week by winning the Providence Invitational on Saturday. The Lady Cats defeated Mid-Southern Conference rival Charlestown, 4-2, in the opening game of the four-team event.
McAfee picked up the win, backed by two runs in the first inning.
In the championship game, the Lady Cats handed the host team its first loss of the season when Whelan twirled a no hitter.
The Lady Cats outscored Providence 12-0 for the win. They pounded out nine hits, including doubles by House, Whelan and Bri Lampton. House also had a triple.
The season record for North Harrison improved to 6-1.