Werner’s no-hitter helps Bulldogs seal North
— 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.
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.