Hauser standout injured in North victory

Ali Wooten

HOPE — The momentum and mentality of Thursday’s game between Columbus North and Hauser did a complete 180-degree turn.

In the top of the fourth inning, Hauser starting pitcher Paige McDaniel fell when the ball was thrown back to her following a single. After a few minutes, McDaniel tried to warm back up, but couldn’t continue forward and was taken out of the game. Her status for next week’s sectional is unknown.

The game suddenly took a major pivot. The Bull Dogs led 3-0 before the injury, but then the Jets lost their mentality and had to rotate girls in different positions following the injury. As a result, North won 16-1 in five innings.

“The game really did turn when (McDaniel) went down, but I thought we played well,” North coach TJ Jarvis said. “It’s a good sign for us going into sectional. I feel like we finally put a whole game together. We had great defense, and we got a great pitching performance from Payton (Morris) on the mound.”

The game was deadlocked after two innings, but the Bull Dogs (12-11) got the first run in the top of the third when Kelsey Lovelace drove in Ali Wooten with a double. North then put up nine runs in the fourth to seal the game. Jarvis then subbed out his batting lineup in the top of the fifth to give his substitutes the chance to have an at-bat.

Hauser (18-8) prevented the shutout in the bottom of the fifth when Izzy Brunner tripled and scored on a Maley Jordan single.

The Bull Dogs totaled 17 hits in the contest. Wooten went 3 for 3, Miley McClellan went 3 for 4, Destinee Allman was 2 for 3, Bailee Scruggs finished 1 for 3 with a three-run home run, Avery Shehan was 1 for 3 with a double and Lovelace was 1 for 4 with a double.

Brunner finished 2 for 3 with a triple for the Jets. Jordan, Haylin Campbell and Kaitlyn Robinson had the other hits.

North will face off against Shelbyville in the opening round of the Class 4A Columbus East Sectional on Monday. The Bull Dogs will likely see a pitcher they didn’t see in the May 10 matchup in Cheyenne Eads, who is a University of Indianapolis recruit.

Hauser will square off against Switzerland County in the opening round of the Class 2A Milan Sectional on Tuesday.