LEWISBURG — Tri-County North’s softball team improved to 15-3 overall and 9-2 in the Cross County Conference with four wins last week.
The Panthers picked up conference wins over Franklin-Monroe and Twin Valley South. They also collected wins against a pair of Southwestern Buckeye League teams, beating Madison and splitting a doubleheader with Brookville.
The Panthers nabbed the lead late in the game in an 8-5 victory over Madison on Monday, April 30. The game was tied at 3-3 with North batting in the top of the sixth when Lexi Delong hit a grand slam to send the Panthers in front to stay.
North opened the scoring in the second inning when Kaitlin Heindl doubled, scoring one run.
Madison knotted the game up at three in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Riley Cruse earned the victory. She surrendered five runs on nine hits over seven innings, striking out three and walking one.
Sidney Jackson also had a homer in the sixth inning for the Panthers.
North collected ten hits on the day. Jackson and Emily Norris each managed multiple hits, with Jackson going 3-for-4 and Norris going 2-for-4.
Despite gave up four runs in the third inning, North still defeated Franklin-Monroe 11-5 on Wednesday, May 2.
The Panthers pulled away for good with five runs in the fourth inning. Delong doubled, scoring a run. Jackson doubled, scoring two runs, and Cruse singled, plating two runs.
North tallied five runs in the sixth inning. Cruse, Kaitlin Heindl, and Avery Shank each drove in runs during the inning.
Cruse earned the victory. She gave up five runs on eight hits over seven innings, striking out two and walking one.
North racked up 12 hits. Cruse, Shank, Norris, Jackson, and Delong all managed two hits apiece.
On Thursday, North defeated rival Twin Valley South 27-0 as two pitchers combined to throw a shutout. North batted around in the first inning, scoring 12 times.
North was boosted by Cruse who went 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in six runs. Cruse homered twice in the first inning, singled in the third, and singled in the fifth.
Norris was the winning pitcher North. She went three innings, allowing no runs, no hits hits and striking out three. Jackson threw two innings in relief.
The Panthers hits three homers on the day. In addition to Cruse’s two, Jackson also homered in the third.
North tallied 23 hits in the game. Heindl, Cruse, Jackson, Norris, Delong, Hailey Stupp, and Avery Shank all managed multiple hits. Jackson, Cruse, and Heindl each collected four hits.
In the first game of a doubleheader, the Panthers fell behind early and couldn’t come back in an 8-3 loss to Brookville on Saturday. .
Each team scored a run in the first, but Brookville added a run in the second and two more in the third. The Blue Devils made it a 5-1 game with two runs in the fifth.
North hit two home runs on the day. Taylor Green hit a first inning shot and Jackson homered the seventh inning.
The Panthers racked up eight hits in the game. Jackson and Green each managed multiple hits, with Jackson going 3-for-4.
In game 2, the Panthers beat Brookville 6-3.
North scored three runs on an Emily Norris triple.
Norris was also the winning pitcher. She pitched a compete game, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out two.
Cruse, Norris, and Morgan Helman each collected multiple hits, with Cruse leading the way with three hits.
North, the No. 2 seed in the Division IV sectional, was scheduled to host National Trail on Monday, May 7, before beginning tournament play on Thursday, at home, against either Tri-Village or Fairlawn.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH