The Northwood Lady Chargers Varsity Softball team and the Lady Knights of Northern Durham passed the lead back and forth five times on Monday at Durham, but in the end Northwood pulled out a 9-4 non-conference win in seven innings to improve their record to 19-1 as they prepare for the state playoffs next week. The Lady Chargers, who rose from 2A to 3A competition this year won the Big Eight 3A Conference outright last week when they beat defending champions Orange High School, 11-8.
On Monday, sophomore Payton Springle racked up three RBIs on two hits for Northwood. She sent a solo line-drive home run over the left field fence in the sixth inning and a 2 RBI double in the top of the seventh to seal the victory.
The Lady Chargers began the scoring in the first inning after junior Alexa Bernard sent a line drive single to center field and later advanced to third when sophomore Ally McKee reached on an error on the Lady Knights first baseman. Bernard scored Northwood’s first run when sophomore Mckenzie Allgood hit a long sacrifice fly to left.
After Northern scored the tying run on a long solo home run by sophomore Libby Cheek in the bottom of the first, the Lady Knights extended their lead in the bottom of the third, 4-1. The Lady Chargers began their comeback in the top of the third after freshman Allison Grant and sophomore Kayli Blankenship reached base on back-to-back singles. Grant scored on another error on a Northern infielder, and Blankenship scored when she cruised home after McKee was caught trying to swipe second.
The Lady Chargers finally managed to grab the lead after a strong fifth inning. Blankenship was hit by a pitch and Alexa Bernard drilled a solid line drive single to center. Blankenship scored on a double to left by McKee, and Bernard scored on another sacrifice fly to left by Allgood. Springle extended the lead in the sixth with a solo home run and Northwood finished the Lady Knights off in the seventh with 3 runs. The seventh began when McKee hit a two out double to left and later scored on a RBI single to left by Allgood. Freshman Carson Shaner reached first base on a base on balls and both she and Allgood scored on a line drive double to right by Springle.
Northwood’s freshman Kathy Boone began the game but was replaced in the bottom of the third by sophomore Anna Jasper. Northern Durham couldn’t get anything going as long as Jasper was pitching. Jasper chalked up her 12th victory by holding the Lady Knights hitless over five innings, allowed no earned runs, walked three and struck out 11.
Other notable offensive players…
Alexa Bernard went 2 for 4, scoring 2 runs
Ally McKee went 2 for 4, scoring 1 run with 1 RBI
Thanks to Mr. Blankenship for the info!