Senior pitches, hits Bull Dogs past Lancers

Going into Monday’s game against Edinburgh, Columbus North’s Christine Bombardiere had been having a modest senior softball season.

But against the Lancers, she took out a half-season’s worth of frustration. She threw a three-hitter, striking out a career-high 15, and went 3 for 3 at the plate, knocking in both Bull Dog runs in a 2-1 victory.

“Sometimes, I was a little wild,” Bombardiere said. “I have some work to do. I was able to see my strengths, but more my weaknesses, so I’ll just come back and keep working on those weaknesses to better my performance.”

The way she began, it looked like it might be a long night for Bombardiere and the Bull Dogs (7-11). She walked two batters and hit another to load the bases with two out in the first but came back with her third strikeout of the inning to end the threat.

After that, Bombardiere pitched a perfect second, third and fourth and took a no-hitter into the fifth.

“It was a little rough starting off,” North coach Robyn Coffer said. “She settled down after the first couple innings, and we felt OK about it. That’s what we expect for her to do every time she’s out there.”

The Bull Dogs got on the board in the first against Edinburgh’s Maddi Clark. Katie Prall led off with a single, went to second on a passed ball and scored on a two-out hit by Bombardiere.

North made it 2-0 in the third when Makayla Caudill singled with one out and scored on another two-out single from Bombardiere.

“I’m definitely coming out of a slump with my hitting,” Bombardiere said. “I haven’t been doing very well, so it was good to finally hit the ball.”

The Lancers (9-5) picked up their first hit with one out in the fifth on a double to right by No. 9 hitter Megan Rooks. Bailey Woodall followed with an infield single, but Bombardiere induced a flyout and a strikeout to get out of the inning.

Edinburgh got on the board in the sixth when Sidney Beier led off with a triple to right and scored when Kayli Littiken reached on an error. Bombardiere then caught a popup and struck out two more batters to end the threat, then pitched a perfect seventh to end it.

“We go from last week playing a bunch of smaller 1A schools, and you come in here and see a solid pitcher like that, it takes some time to make any type of adjustment,” Edinburgh coach Stephen Clark said.

“But I’m pleased with the outcome. It was a tight game, and that’s all you could ask for.”

The Bull Dogs finished with seven hits. Caudill went 2 for 3 with a double.

“I’m proud of the girls for sticking in it and playing the full seven innings instead of having a letup in the fifth or sixth,” Coffer said.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.