Werner’s no-hit­ter helps Bull­dogs seal North

Times-Record - - Forever Champions - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

— North Caro­line High’s soft­ball sea­son has been filled with mile­stones.

The Bull­dogs added two more on April 27 against North Dorch­ester, when Macken­zie Werner hurled a no-hit­ter in a 14-0 vic­tory in five in­nings that clinched the North Bay­side, earn­ing a berth in the con­fer­ence ti­tle game on May 9. The Bull­dogs stand at 14-0 over­all, 6-0 North Bay­side.

Werner’s no-hit­ter is Caro­line’s sec­ond this sea­son, with se­nior Brea Bishop toss­ing the first on open­ing day against James M. Ben­nett. Werner (4-0) got plenty of help at the plate Thurs­day from Bishop and catcher Sarah Mast.

Bishop got the scor­ing started by blast­ing a three­run homer in the first in­ning off Ea­gle pitcher Brooke Mor­ton. Mast went 4 for 4 with seven RBIs. The rest was left to Werner’s bril­liance, as she struck out six and walked two.

“Mack has been huge for us this year, and pitched out­stand­ing to­day,” North Caro­line head coach An­drea Ward said. “She moved the ball around, hit­ting her spots. She put bat­ters away with strike­outs.

“I’m re­ally proud of Mack,” Ward added. “Mack and Brea have been great for us on the rub­ber this year. Brea started the sea­son with a no-hit­ter. She has pitched so many big games for us this year. It is great hav­ing both Mack and Brea to give the ball to.”

Werner cred­ited Bishop for the team’s strong start by hit­ting a first-in­ning home run.

“This is the sec­ond straight game Brea has given us a first-in­ning lead,” Werner said. “As a pitcher, it gives you great con­fi­dence hav­ing some­one like Brea in the lineup. Brea is a great leader. She helps every one of us.

“For a pitcher, it means a lot to pitch a no-hit­ter, but you can’t do it with­out great team­mates,” Werner added. “Ev­ery­one was mak­ing plays, get­ting big hits and play­ing great de­fense. My team­mates have been do­ing that all year.

Hav­ing Mast be­hind the plate has been a big ad­van­tage for Werner.

“Sarah is prob­a­bly smartest catcher that ever seen,” Werner said. “She knows how to call a game. At bat, she is a big help, too. I didn’t re­al­ize she had seven RBIs to­day, but I’m not sur­prised be­cause she has been hit­ting so well all year.”

Af­ter Bishop’s first-in­ning homer, Mast de­liv­ered with an RBI dou­ble for a 4-0 lead. In the sec­ond in­ning, three con­sec­u­tive sin­gles by Ali Ward (3 for 3), Megan Rob­bins and Ken­dall Dixon (2 for 4) loaded the bases. Werner then ripped an RBI sin­gle to left for a 5-0 lead. Mast fol­lowed with a two-run dou­ble to in­crease the lead to 7-0.

The Bull­dogs added four more runs in the third in­ning off North Dorch­ester re­liever Leann As­plen. Lauren Williamson sin­gled and Ali Ward dou­bled. Rob­bins plated Williamson on a fielder’s choice. Mast then de­liv­ered a tworun sin­gle to right for a 10-0 lead. Aubree Strange capped the scor­ing in the third with a RBI sin­gle to make the score 11-0.

An­drea Ward cred­ited the team’s abil­ity to come out strong a day af­ter a huge road vic­tory against de­fend­ing con­fer­ence cham­pion St. Michaels.

“The girls do a great job of tak­ing the sea­son game by game,” An­drea Ward said. “We had a big win against St. Michaels, but we turned the page and the girls came out very strong early to­day. We said be­fore the game that this is an­other day, an­other op­por­tu­nity. All of the girls played great.

“Brea al­ways gives us such a spark,” Coach Ward added. “To­day, she came out with a three-run home run in the first. She got a big RBI in the first against St. Michaels on Wed­nes­day. Against Eas­ton she had a huge RBI dou­ble late in a tie game.

“Sarah has been on fire all sea­son,” Ward con­tin­ued. “She is one of our hits lead­ers. Her RBIs also are a credit to the girls in front of her in the lineup for get­ting on base, and giv­ing us a lot of chances to score.”

Werner cruised in the fourth, get­ting two strike­outs and a popout. The Bull­dogs added three runs in the bot­tom of the fourth. Ali Ward sin­gled and scored on Dixon’s dou­ble. Mast then drove in her fi­nal two runs with a sin­gle to cen­ter.

Af­ter a lead­off walk in the fifth, Werner got a strike­out and a popout to put her one out away from a no-hit­ter. She fit­tingly ended the game by get­ting a strike­out.

Fol­low Caro­line/Dorch­ester Edi­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_S­tarDem.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Caro­line’s Macken­zie Werner, left, pitched a no-hit­ter Thurs­day against North Dorch­ester, and her catcher Sarah Mast went 4 for 4 with seven RBIs in the 14-0 vic­tory.

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