May 15, 2019The North Harrison Lady Cats notched another win on its belts Thursday afternoon when they rallied from behind to shellac the visiting Lady Braves of Brownstown Central in a Mid-Southern Conference softball game. The win improved the Lady Cats' record to 19-1 with a road trip to Crawford County this afternoon (Wednesday).
"It's hard not to enjoy something when you're winning," North Harrison coach Haley Book said. "We try to reiterate that any person can come out and beat us on any given day and not to be complacent, always want more and stay hungry with the season, and keep working on the little things. That is one thing that we stress day in and day out. If we can do the little things right, we'll be successful."
The Lady Braves had upset on their minds in the early going, getting their first run on the board in the top of the first inning. Erin Singleton led off with a double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Zoe Fountain. A bunt single by Addy Krieger pushed Singleton across the plate.
North Harrison's Kendall Beyerle (8) is greeted at home plate after smashing one of the Lady Cats' four home runs against visiting Brownstown Central.
North Harrison blanked on its first try with the bats, and Brownstown Central came up dry on its second round.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Lady Cats evened things up when Jada Peyton smashed a solo home run over the center-field fence.
In the top of the third inning, Brownstown Central went back in front. Fountain punched in a loop single to start the inning. With one out, Chloe Carlin smacked a shot off the fence for a double. North Harrison had a chance to stop the threat, but two throwing errors allowed both Fountain and Carlin to score for a 3-1 Lady Braves' lead.
Book said she wasn't worried about the errors at that point.
"It was early in the game, and we've got seven innings to win a ballgame," she said. "These girls have shown me all season that one error or two errors isn't going to determine the outcome of the game because of how much fight they have. I think that they proved that to everybody tonight, how much fight they have in them and how bad they want this. They don't give up. They have a lot of fight with them and they want to win. They want to be out there, and they want to be successful."
Book, however, had to make sure her team didn't panic and instead do what it does in practice.
"It was more of just don't chase at the plate," Book said. "They get a little antsy sometimes. So, just stay disciplined, stay with our game plan. They each have an approach at the plate that we talked about. Just sticking to that because that's what works for them, and not to sway too far from that. Don't put too much pressure on themselves."
The Lady Cats did just that and got those two runs back. Grace Roberts hit a short double. Brianna Fawver came in to run and went to third when Isabella Gerlach grounded out. Fawver then scored when Kaitlyn Crone hit a grounder. Kendall Beyerle followed with a solo home run, and the game was tied at 3.
The fourth inning went scoreless for both teams, and Brownstown Central blanked in the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the inning, North Harrison went out in front. Roberts hit a single and stole second. Gerlach grounded out but moved Roberts to third. Beyerle got her second hit on a single that scored Roberts, and the Lady Cats took a 4-3 lead.
North Harrison went on a rage in the bottom of the sixth. Andrea Ness fired off a shot over the fence for a solo homer. Jada Peyton followed with a single and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emily Ingle. With two outs, Roberts got her third hit of the game with a single that scored Peyton. Gerlach followed with a two-run shot over the fence for an 8-3 lead.
Brownstown Central changed pitchers, but that didn't matter to the Lady Cats. Beyerle smacked a double that scored Crone and went to third on the throw. Ashton Blackburn singled to score Beyerle, and the North Harrison lead ballooned to 10-3.
The Lady Braves went three up and down in the top of the seventh inning, and the Lady Cats had their 19th win.
Book said the home runs helped her team to relax and the hits became contagious.
"I think the No. 1 thing our girls love to see is a home run from one of their teammates," the North Harrison coach said. "That just fires them up. It just lights a fire under them and gets them going, and I think that controlled the moments after that. We had the momentum."
North Harrison finished with 11 hits, with four of those going over the fence. Grace Schroeder and Beyerle had three hits each, and Peyton had two. Blackburn struck out one and walked one for the seven innings. The Lady Cats had two errors and left five runners on base.
Brownstown Central also hit the ball well, tallying 10 hits, with Singleton, Krieger and Kyra Huffman all getting two each. The Lady Braves threw two pitchers, with Maddison Brittain striking out seven and walking one and Singleton walking one. Brownstown Central had no errors and left six runners on base.
"Brownstown, they can hit the ball. They kind of put it on us early, and we bounced back," Book said. "We made tons of adjustments tonight, which is what we've been talking about all season, making game adjustments. They just executed perfectly tonight."
The Lady Cats have three games left on their regular schedule before meeting up with county rival Corydon Central in their opening-round Class 3A sectional game. Book said her team is ready for the challenge.
"I think we got a great draw (against Corydon Central)," she said. "From what I've seen from years past, I think we got a great draw this year. It's going to be a tough sectional. Sectionals are always tough. You've got to win three games to win it. But I think we are in the right place right now. We are peaking at the right time, and that sets us up really nicely for sectional."
Brownstown Cent. 102 000 0 - 3 10 0
North Harrison 012 016 X - 10 11 2
W-Blackburn. L-Brittain. 1B-Singleton (B) 2, Krieger (B) 2, Poulton (B), Huffman (B) 2, Fountain (B), Schroeder (NH) 2, Beyerle (NH), Peyton (NH), Blackburn (NH); 2B-Brook (B), Carlin (NB), Schroeder (NH), Beyerle (NH); HR-Peyton (NH), Beyerle (NH), Ness (NH), Gerlach (NH). Records-North Harrison 19-1.