The Columbus North softball team will have better days than the one they had to open the season Saturday.

Or, at least the Bull Dogs hope they will.

North got off to a rough start, dropping 24-4 and 27-3 decisions to South Dearborn. Both games lasted only five innings.

The Knights reached Bull Dogs pitchers Lilly Hurt and Charisma Burroughs for 29 hits in the two games. The pair took turns in the circle while filling in for injured senior Madisyn Prince.

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Prince, who is recovering from a torn ACL, threw between games on Saturday. First-year North coach Ron McDonald said she is about two weeks away from being able to pitch in a game.

“(Hurt and Burroughs are) so new on pitching, and they’ve not had the experience,” McDonald said. “When Madisyn comes back, it will be a different story. That way I can kind of position people out in the field that we have out of place right now. It will make everything start coming together, but it’s still going to be a learning year for us.”

The Bull Dogs also were without their other senior, second baseman Kaitlyn Panning, who had four wisdom teeth pulled. Seven of nine players on field at end of the second game were freshmen.

In the opener, North trailed 7-1 with two out in the top of the third. But South Dearborn scored nine times before the inning was over and added eight more in the third.

Then in in the second game, the Bull Dogs recorded two outs before a run scored in the top of the first. But an errant throw to first led to a 12-run inning for the Knights.

“That’s something I brought up when I went out and talked to them on the mound,” McDonald said. “You get two outs, you have to bury them. You can’t make errors like that because that’s what it leads to.”

Jenna Fath went 2 for 3 in the first game. Fath and Hurt had RBIs.

All three Bull Dogs runs in the second game scored on one play. Brooke Bruin singled with two out, stole second and went to third on a single by Burroughs. Sierra Norman then singled in one run, and Burroughs and Norman came all the way around when the throw to third to try to get Burroughs went into left field.

Burroughs went 2 for 3 in that second game.

“We actually hit the ball pretty decent today,” McDonald said. “They had pretty good pitching. It’s going to be a process.”

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