After a 2-7 start to the season, North Forsyth’s softball team seems to be hitting its stride at just the right time.
That was evident on Thursday night, with North jumping out to a lead that only grew larger against Lambert. With two big innings, including a nine-run sixth, the Raiders came away with a 15-2 win in a mercy-rule shortened six innings.
The victory put the Raiders in a tie for first place in Region 5-7A behind Forsyth Central, and it was their fourth win in their past five games. To junior shortstop Mallorie Black, the rout was not only significant for how it positions North in the standings: It was a message.
“Any team in this region shouldn’t take us lightly because sometimes they tend to,” she said. “(It’s) a big confidence booster for us for sure. Now we know we can compete with anyone and we want to be first.”
North was already leading 6-1 heading into the sixth inning, but the bats kept piling on. The Raiders quickly loaded the bases, and Black brought everyone in with one swing, lifting a grand slam to right center field to put any hopes of a Lambert comeback to bed. Black ended her night with three of her team’s 15 hits and six RBIs.
“We just did a really good job of making adjustments at the plate,” North head coach Jim Cahill said. “We took the pitches they were giving us, not trying to do too much. We were just on a roll."
The Raiders took advantage of six more knocks to put four more runs across. The Longhorns finally secured their first out of the inning after 10 plate appearances and after the score had ballooned to 14-1.
“It was cool to see (coach Cahill) sub in players, and even when he does, we still score runs,” Black said. “Anybody can hit on our team and it’s fun to see that.”
Despite the game’s outcome, it was Lambert who held the game’s
first lead. In the second, a passed ball scored Ansley Dean from third for a
1-0 advantage. But from the third on, it was all North, which took its first
lead with an RBI single from Mackenzie Marvin.
The fourth saw the Raiders add two, with pitcher Hailey Mize aiding her cause with a opposite field RBI single that brought two runners across. In the circle, Mize allowed five hits and two runs, striking out one.
With the loss, Lambert's streak of region wins was snapped at two games. The Longhorns fall to 3-3 in the region, while North moves to 4-2.