N. Caroline starts, finishes strong
Warriors rally, but Bulldogs net fiverun 7th to pick up road ‘W’
EASTON — North Caroline High’s softball team defeated longtime rival Easton 14-9 Thursday, March 30.
Brea Bishop went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and a home run. She also pitches a complete game in the victor y.
EASTON — North Caroline High’s softball team has spent the early part of this season bludgeoning the opposition, outscoring its first four opponents by a combined 59-3.
The Bulldogs were deep into administering still another shellacking Thursday when it found something its coaching staf f collectively thought it needed: a challenge.
“I knew coming into this game this was going to be a team that we were going to have to play hard against,” Bulldogs head coach Andrea Ward said of Easton. “Even when we were up 8-0, I think I looked at my assistant coaches and said, ‘We’ve got to keep going.’ Even at that point I didn’t think we had it, especially when they started coming back.”
Holding a lead that reached nine but was shaved to three, North Caroline came through with a five-run, sixhit top of the seventh inning before holding off one final surge from its longtime rival to seal a 14-9 victory that left it one of three unbeatens in the North Bayside.
“The mood never went down,” said Ward after the Bulldogs improved to 5-0 overall, 2-0 North Bayside with its smallest margin of victory this season. “We knew we had to keep fighting and that’s what these girls did.”
As did Easton, which fell to 3-1, 1-1.
“We had a lot of errors and they didn’t let that get to them,” Warriors head coach
Jen Powell said. “They kept battling to get back in the game. It could have been over early.”
North Caroline certainly appeared headed that way.
Brea Bishop (3 for 5, three RBIs) roped the first pitch she saw from Easton’s Peyton Elzey (1-1) over the leftfield fence for a home run to start the second inning. Two Easton errors helped the Bulldogs push their lead to 3-0 before the inning ended.
North Caroline, which finished with 20 hits, used seven singles to widen its lead to 8-0 in the third. Bishop had an RBI single, and Mackenzie Werner (2 for 4), Sarah Mast (4 for 4) each singled in runs. Werner and Mast hit consecutive one-out singles in the fourth before Aubree Strange (3 for 5) blooped a single over the head of Warrior shortstop Olivia Ball to plate Werner for a 9-0 Caroline bulge.
Bishop (4-0) retired nine of the first 10 batters she faced — six by strikeout — before running into trouble in the fourth. After issuing backto-back walks to Cameron Foster and Jada Murray to start the inning, Bishop worked the count full to Anna Slaughenhoupt (2 for 4), who then blasted a threerun homer to draw the Warriors within 9-3.
Easton closed the gap to 9-6 in the sixth. Katelynn Miles (3 for 4, three RBIs) hit an RBI double. Megan Kolakowski knocked in a run with an infield hit. Miles raced home when Kolakowski was thrown out trying to steal second for the first out. Bishop then got back-toback groundouts to end the rally.
The Bulldogs responded in the seventh.
Ali Ward hit a leadoff single. Kendall Dixon (2 for 4) followed with a one-out single. Bishop’s single to left plated Ward with what proved to be the winning run. Two batters later, Mast stroked a two-run double. An error and Lauren Williamson’s single extended the lead to 14-6.
“We knew we had to keep being pumped up, staying together, get those runs back and just work together to do it,” Bishop said.
“I think it improves the whole team,” Bishop continued of the tight game. “It gets us ready for the next game. That’s all we’re thinking about.”
Easton continued scrapping, as Tori Weems (3 for 4) hit an RBI single before Miles plated two runs with a single to right, making it 14-9. The rally ended there though, as Bishop induced Kolakowski into a game-ending pop-out to short.
“They hit the ball well. I’ll give them credit on that,” said Powell of North Caroline. “There were times we probably should have been out of innings and we weren’t, and they capitalized off those, coming up with more big hits.
“But we’re a team of fighters,” Powell added. “It makes me feel that even as bad as they may have felt, it was they still wanted to fight and go for it. Pretty impressed by that.”
Notes: Easton finished with 11 hits. … Bishop struck out 11 and walked two. … Elzey fanned three, walked two and hit one batter. … North Caroline, Colonel Richardson and defending Bayside champion St. Michaels are the division’s three remaining unbeaten teams.
St. Michaels 9 North Dorchester 5
ST. MICHAELS — McKenna Browning went the distance, allowing five runs on 10 hits, walking one and striking out eight to lead the Saints.
Angelica Sichette had two hits and three RBIs for St. Michaels, and Laura Berry finished with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. Savannah Stewart scored three times for the Saints.
Meredith Bell was 3 for 3 for North Dorchester.
North Caroline’s Brea Bishop fires a pitch against Easton Thursday, March 30.
North Caroline’s Brea Bishop blasts a home run Thursday against Easton.
North Caroline’s Brea Bishop rips an RBI single to left against Easton Thursday, March 30.
North Caroline’s Abbi Trice stands on second after her double to right against Easton Thursday, March 30.
North Caroline’s Mack Werner rips an RBI single to left against Easton Thursday, March 30.