HOPE — The Columbus North softball team got off to a slow start from a batting perspective, but was still in striking distance of beating Class A No. 3 Hauser.
In the fourth inning, though, the Jets bats came alive. The huge rally got started from a couple of Bull Dog errors, and the Jets recorded six runs and six hits to cruise to an 11-3 victory.
Hauser junior pitching ace Tessa Sims was back in the circle and starting in her first game since a 3-2 victory against Edinburgh on April 10.
Sims also pitched for one inning of relief in a 14-1 win Tuesday at Morristown. She has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), which has caused her to miss most of the season pitching, and will have surgery after the season.
However, she brushed off the cobwebs and pitched three outstanding innings with six strikeouts before Hunter Crain took over to finish the game.
“It felt good and I didn’t have any symptoms,” Sims said. “I was a little nervous because I haven’t pitched in so long. It just felt good being back out on the mound, and Hunter came in after I got out and did really well. We had some mistakes, but all-around, I think we did really well.”
With his squad consisting of mostly freshmen and sophomores, North coach Ron McDonald thinks the mentality wasn’t there at the beginning of the game.
“I think my girls got intimidated a bit because they have heard about how great Tessa is, and granted, she is good,” McDonald said. “We faced hard throwers like that, and we weren’t in the game until it became too late.”
For Hauser (21-3), Crain hit two triples and had two RBIs. Katie Taylor, who has missed a large part of the season due to a rib injury, returned and had a double and two RBIs.
Sydney Schoen had a two-run double and also made a diving over-the-shoulder catch after a blooper sailed past the infield.
For North (1-24), Sierra Norman had a single and a two-run homer in the top of the sixth. Jenna Fath added two singles and Kaitlin Panning had a double.
The Jets now have their sights on Jac-Cen-Del in the opening round of the Rising Sun Sectional on Monday. Sims is probable to start, and it likely will be a low scoring pitchers duel, with Hauser likely facing Eagles pitching ace Morgen Carroll. The Jets got the upper hand on Carroll last year, winning 3-0 in the sectional via a three-run homer in the first inning.
North turns to Bloomington South, which has beated the Bull Dogs twice in the past two weeks, Tuesday in the Bloomington North Sectional. McDonald is optimistic about the Bull Dogs’ chances in getting the win because pitching ace Madisyn Prince did not pitch in either game.
“Everyone will be starting 0-0 now,” McDonald said. “Our record does not show how much we have improved all year.”