Mor­ton out­du­els Barnes

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

SHILOH — Last Thurs­day’s Cr­is­field at North Dorch­ester High soft­ball game fea­tured stel­lar pitch­ing per­for­mances by the Crab­bers’ Grace Barnes and the Ea­gles’ Brooke Mor­ton.

The pair com­bined for 25 strike­outs, but Mor­ton earned the win in a 9-4 vic­tory by North Dorch­ester.

Mor­ton pitched a com­plete game with nine strike­outs as North Dorch­ester im­proved to 4-9. Barnes went the dis­tance with 16 strike­outs in 18 recorded outs. Barnes had four in­nings with three or more strike­outs — four com­ing in the se­cond in­ning alone.

Mor­ton and Barnes had a stretch be­tween the bot­tom of the first to the bot­tom of the third with 14 con­sec­u­tive outs recorded as strike­outs.

“Brooke’s changeup was beau­ti­ful to­day,” Ea­gles head coach Clark Har­ri­son said. “She has been good with it all year. She was around the zone where the girls would chase it, or it come on the cor­ners for a strike. She did a great job in a big spot to­day.

“The Cr­is­field pitcher is an ex­cel­lent pitcher,” Har­ri­son added. “She has an out­stand­ing rise ball. That gave us a lot of trou­ble. But we give her credit be­cause she made the pitches.”

The Crab­bers got ahead 1-0 in the first. Emily Ad­kins sin­gled, stole se­cond and scored on an RBI sin­gle by Lainie Pruitt (4 for 4, three RBIs).

North Dorch­ester ral­lied for the lead in the home half of the first. Rachel Wind­sor walked and stole se­cond. Leann As­plen (3 for 4, two RBIs) plated Wind­sor with an RBI dou­ble. As­plen gave the Ea­gles a 2-1 lead when she scored on a dropped third strike.

Mor­ton al­lowed two hits in the se­cond, but struck out the side to strand two run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion. Mor­ton led off the se­cond with a sin­gle to right, but Barnes recorded four strike­outs in the in­ning, one on a dropped third strike, which al­lowed the bat­ter to reach base.

Barnes helped her own cause in the third with an RBI sin­gle to plate Pruitt and tie the score at 2-2.

As­plen dou­bled in her se­cond at-bat, and later scored on a passed ball to give the Ea­gles a 3-2 lead.

Mor­ton and Barnes kept each team off the score­board in the fourth. Fac­ing bases loaded, Barnes got a strike­out to end fourth. Pruitt then tied the score at 3-3 with an RBI sin­gle in the fifth.

Maddi Nos­sick led off North Dorch­ester’s fifth with a bunt sin­gle and ad­vanced to third on an er­ror. She gave the Ea­gles a 4-3 lead when she scored on a passed ball. Mor­ton walked and stole two bases in the in­ning. She also scored on a passed ball to in­crease the lead to 5-3.

North Dorch­ester got some breath­ing room in the sixth with a one-out sin­gle by Wind­sor, and an RBI sin­gle by As­plen for a 6-3 lead. Mered­ith Bell ex­tended the lead when she blasted a two-run dou­ble off fence to make it 8-3. Mor­ton’s RBI sin­gle pushed the lead to 9-3.

“We strug­gled at the plate at the be­gin­ning of the game but Leann As­plen and Mered­ith Bell got big hits for us to help us get ahead and pull away,” Har­ri­son said. “We have been lack­ing that all year, get­ting the hits with run­ners on but Leann and Mered­ith came through for us in a big way. I’m pleased with the out­come.”

The Cr­is­field (1-11) cut the deficit to 9-4 in the sev­enth on Pruitt’s RBI dou­ble be­fore Mor­ton got a gameend­ing fly-out.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester’s Brooke Mor­ton struck out nine bat­ters in a com­plete-game vic­tory Thurs­day, April 20, against Cr­is­field.

North Dorch­ester’s Leann As­plen hits a rise ball for an RBI dou­ble against Cr­is­field Thurs­day, April 20.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester’s Mered­ith Bell blasts a two-run dou­ble against Cr­is­field Thurs­day, April 20.

North Caro­line’s Brooke Hard­ing scoops up a grounder against Cr­is­field Thurs­day, April 20.

North Dorch­ester’s Leann As­plen hits a rise ball for an RBI dou­ble against Cr­is­field Thurs­day, April 20.

North Dorch­ester’s Mered­ith Bell cel­e­brates af­ter her two-run dou­ble against Cr­is­field Thurs­day, April 20.

North Caro­line’s Maddi Nos­sick slides at home to score against Cr­is­field Thurs­day, April 20.

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