Columbus North has been improving its softball performance as the season progressed, and it was only a matter of time for its first win to come.
Tuesday night was finally the night the Bull Dogs broke through.
North picked up five runs off of six hits in the fifth inning, and in their 17th game of the season, finally picked up its first victory with a 6-5 Conference Indiana East Divison win against Southport.
Emotions showed after the game, and after all the hard work the Bull Dogs (1-16, 1-2) put in, it finally paid off in a huge way.
“Going into that (fifth) inning, we had to attack, and this was definitely the inning we had to have.” North sophomore catcher Bailey Lofton said. “Our coaches calmed us down because we were really nervous heading into that inning, and were down on ourselves. We thought to ourselves in the dugout that this was our inning, and it was.”
Lofton went on to add that it is a huge relief to finally get the win and also a huge confidence booster for a team that is mostly made up of freshmen and sophomores.
“It was stressful in the beginning,” Lofton said. “Coming into the game, we all thought to ourselves that we possibly have a chance. This was the first win for the freshmen on the team, and it was good to win for them and also to win for Madisyn (Prince) for coming back and fighting during the game.”
Prince had her early struggles in the game, but she had a big comeback and pitched the entire game and struck out six.
Prince, who is one of two seniors on the team, along with Kaitlin Panning, was at a loss for words initially on how much this win meant for the team.
“We worked really hard for this, so it’s good. It’s fun,” Prince said. “I had a lot of adrenaline run through me because this was such a close game. We really wanted this win, and it’s pretty exciting.”
North coach Ron McDonald was hesitant at first in starting Prince. As the game wore on, however, he knew the decision was the right one.
“She started out with her velocity way down,” McDonald said. “As the game went on, it went way up. The last two innings, she threw harder than she has thrown all year.”
McDonald gives credit to his girls in pulling out the victory.
“I knew once we got one or two hits together, they would keep coming,” McDonald said. “We have a good hitting team. We just have to keep plugging along. We worked hard all year, and I am so proud of the girls.”