One thing was certain in Columbus North’s 6-1 softball win against Whiteland on Saturday: Left field was its best friend.
Out of 15 hits from the Bull Dogs, 10 ended up in left field.
“When we get our confidence up, we improve our hitting,” North coach Jerry Burton said. “We were able to get a rally going in the second inning and end the game with a solid number of hits.”
The Bull Dogs (12-8) scored four runs in the second inning, two from RBI-singles by Denisa Brooks and Shannah Hercamp, a walk by Grayson Harney and a run by Sheana Wasilewski from a wild pitch.
The defense for North remained strong throughout much of the contest, with Harney retiring 10 straight batters before allowing
the first run from the Warriors (8-13) off a sacrifice fly from Anna Scott. The Bull Dogs still led 4-1 at the end of the fifth.
Harney said her pitching was adding pressure to the Warriors.
“I was feeling confident in my knuckleball,” Harney said. “I mixed my pitches up, and was able to keep their bats at a halt for much of the ball game.”
Burton praised Harney’s pitching, as well as the defensive pressure.
“She had a tremendous game,” Burton said. “When she pitches as well as she does, it gives the defense more confidence. We’re looking to see her do big things for us down the road.”
Kelsay Lucas connected on a single to bring in Christine Bombardiere, and Harney hit a single to right field to bring in North’s final run.
“This is what you want to see towards the end of the season,” Burton said. “We still have quite a bit to go, but the girls are feeling better, their attitudes are changing and they are getting excited about the rest of the season.”
Hercamp, who finished 3 for 4 with an RBI, said her hits built momentum.
“Lately, I’ve been in a slump,” Hercamp said.
“I was getting excited after my first hit, and I was able to keep my momentum going for much of the game. It’s good to connect on hits like I did because it keeps the team together and makes them perform as well as you do.”
Brooks and Lucas each went 2 for 4 with an RBI, while Bombardiere went 2 for 3 with a double.
“We have to be positive down the stretch,” Hercamp said. “We have a couple big games coming up, as well as Bloomington South, so there is a lot to look forward to.”
While disappointed the Bull Dogs didn’t play a doubleheader, Harney said the team’s confidence is building going into the next game with Bloomington South on Tuesday.
“We are feeling pretty good,” Harney said. “We expected to play a doubleheader, but to get a big win like this before some big games coming up gets all of us excited.”