7-run inning propels Lady Cats
The North Harrison softball team used a seven-run second inning to lead the Lady Cats to a 13-0 five-inning win over county-foe South Central in Elizabeth on a cool and breezy Friday afternoon.
Lady Cats twirler Alyssa McAfee was tough in the circle, striking out eight batters, including three each in the first and last innings. She went all five innings to record a one-hit shutout.
‘I thought tonight we came out and swung a hot bat and played well throughout,’ said North Harrison coach John Lambert. ‘It was a slow week for us. At one point, we played 12 games in 13 days. We had a tough loss at Salem despite having good practices Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ll take that loss, learn from it and move on. We showed we could do that today.’
North Harrison opened the first inning with a pair of runs. Kendra Lambert and Kenedy House reached on walks and came home on an Amber Longest single.
It was the second inning, however, where the Lady Cats rolled up seven runs. Melanie Johnson and Tabby Bozynski led off with hits and eventually scored. Both also later added singles in the same inning. Katie Freeberg scored Johnson and Bozynski the first time with a single. Brooke Lamon contributed a two RBI single, as did Johnson.
Near the top of the order, Lambert and House scored three times each during the course of the game. After the second inning, North Harrison led 9-0, chasing South Central pitcher Haley Shaffer from the circle. She was relieved by Erica Coulter, a senior who was coming back from an early season injury.
North Harrison benefited from a pair of South Central infield errors in the top of the third inning to add three more runs to the scoreboard. Miranda Whelan made the Lady Rebels pay, hitting a two-run single.
For the North Harrison offense, McAfee, Longest, Johnson, Bozynski and Freeberg had two hits each. McAfee had the lone extra base hit ‘ a double ‘ from North Harrison.
‘We’re looking to get away from our Jeckle and Hyde ways,’ Lambert said of the season thus far. ‘I always say there are three keys to a game: pitching, hitting and fielding. We’re still working to put all three together for one game. It always seems to be a mix each time out.’
North Harrison had a strong showing at the Jasper Invitational, winning all three pool play games against Castle, Corydon Central and Vincennes Lincoln. The Lady Cats, however, weren’t able to stick around for the championship game due to the school’s prom.
South Central’s offense struggled to put together a run at the Lady Cats. Coulter had the team’s lone hit, a double.
‘We’re a pretty young and inexperienced team,’ said Coulter. ‘The key is teaching the younger players to stay positive and keep their heads up.’
Victoria Sallee drew a leadoff walk in the second for South Central but was doubled off on Kelsey Eckart’s line drive. Her shot was snared by shortstop Kendra Lambert, who threw to first for the double play.
Eckart later reached on an error in the fifth inning but was stranded when McAfee struck out the next three batters.
‘It all kind of snowballed on us,’ said South Central junior Samantha Turner. ‘We need to do a better job of keeping our heads up.’
Coulter said the team is building toward sectional.
North Harrison will host Silver Creek tomorrow (Thursday) at 5 p.m. South Central will return to the field tonight when the Lady Rebels play at New Albany at 5:30.