Bull Dogs win on senior night for Normans

Columbus North honored its seven seniors prior to Wednesday’s softball game against Greensburg, but the Bull Dogs weren’t in much of a celebratory mood.

On Tuesday, assistant coach Steve Norman, the father of senior Lucy Norman and Columbus’ deputy chief of police, was injured in an accident while working security for Cummins in Indianapolis. He is in ICU at an Indianapolis hospital with multiple injuries and faces a long road to recovery.

Although, Steve and his wife Janae were unable to be there on Wednesday, Lucy’s older sisters Kat and Sierra walked with her in the pregame senior night ceremonies, as did the fathers of the other six Bull Dog seniors.

“It’s very emotional because we all love Steve,” senior Rachel Cowan said. “He’s one of our coaches, and I’m so glad that we could just be there for Lucy tonight and Steve. We’re praying for him.”

Cowan went 2 for 2 with three RBIs at the plate and threw a one-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts to lead Class 4A No. 5 North (16-3) to a 13-0, five-inning victory.

“With my team backing me up behind me and cheering me on, I definitely felt relieved and had no pressure on me whatsoever,” Cowan said. “I’m so glad to be part of this team.”

Lucy Norman told her team about her father’s accident prior to Tuesday’s game against Bloomington South. The Bull Dogs fell to the Panthers 5-1 in a game that decided the Conference Indiana title.

“It tore a lot of them up,” North coach Ron McDonald said. “It’s one of the girls’ favorite coaches. He teases with them all the time, and if he has any criticism, he does it in such a great way that they feel like they’re being teased. He’s just a great guy.”

On Wednesday, North jumped on Greensburg with three runs in the first inning. Maddi Rutan and Cowan smacked back-to-back home runs in the first, Rutan’s a two-run homer and Cowan’s a solo shot, both to left-center.

The Bull Dogs added five more in the second. Kirsten Danford had an RBI-single, Cowan lined a two-run single, Bailey King followed with an RBI-single and Lillian Mackey had an RBI-groundout.

North finished its scoring with five runs on one hit, two hit batters and five walks in the fourth.

Danford finished 2 for 3, and Rutan and Mackey each had two RBIs. Lucy Norman walked on all three of her trips to the plate and scored two runs.

“We just wanted to make sure the girls had fun and celebrate the seniors tonight,” McDonald said. “It has to be one of the best classes that’s come through Columbus North with the accomplishments that they’ve had. I don’t think anybody else could top what they’ve done.”