By Noah Rubin
It makes life easy for a team when they play as well as the Raiders have been.
The Raiders, winners of 13 straight games, had everything going for them in both games of their doubleheader Tuesday against Denmark.
North (14-1) swept Denmark (7-5), winning the first game 9-1 and taking the night cap 14-2.
North head coach Jim Cahill felt his team’s offensive showing was the main factor for their victory.
“I thought we swung the bat very well,” Cahill said. “In the first game, we took advantage of the mistakes the other team made. We capitalized on them and that was really the difference in that game. We just came out swinging in the second game.”
In Game 1, Logan Currie and Lexie Durban both went 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Durban also added a solo home run and two RBIs.
In Game 2, Currie and Durban both batted 2-for-3 again, while Alexis Monroe and Lauren Fields each went 3-for-3.
“I thought they had a great approach at the plate,” Cahill said. “They did a good job with two strikes and hit in some clutch situations.”
In all, North pounded 23 hits, with the top half of the lineup – Fields, Currie, Taylor Pipkins, Durban and Monroe – going 11-for-14 with nine RBIs and nine runs scored in Game 2.
It was an incredible offensive showing, but the Raiders were also remarkable on the defensive side, in addition to Olivia Tyson’s performance in the circle.
Tyson pitched all five innings of Game 1, allowing only two hits and recording six strikeouts.
Cahill was proud of her performance, but not surprised at all.
“That’s a typical outing for her this year,” Cahill said. “She comes in, throws strikes, and gets people. I think she had more strikeouts in this game than she’s had in a while. She did really well tonight.”
The most important thing for Cahill was getting the victory, which pushed North to 7-0 in Region 6-7A with wins against Lambert, South Forsyth and Forsyth Central.
“Just like every time we play someone for the first time, we want to get an advantage,” Cahill said. “When we have a doubleheader, we can win two and have the tiebreaker on them. They’re a good team. We knew we had to come out here and play our A-game, and we did. If you don’t show up to play in this region, anybody can beat anybody.”
For Denmark, head coach Savannah Huffstetler wasn’t as pleased with her team’s performance.
“We’re not playing what we preached since June about team at-bats,” Huffstetler said. “Team this. Team that. You name it. We’re sitting here, in my opinion, playing selfishly. Playing like we’re checking the Gamechanger stats after every at-bat. I’m about to delete Gamechanger.
“With a runner on third, we used to be great at putting a bunt on the ground or hitting a ground ball to second base, and now we can’t do that. Everybody has pop-ups to the infield. Everybody wants to be the hero. Everyone wants to put the ball in the gap. That’s just not how we play softball. We need to make things happen and put the ball in play, and we’re refusing to do that. It’s a choice, and they’re refusing to do it right now.”
A bright spot for Denmark was the performance of Ellery Campbell in Game 2. She went 2-for-2 with an RBI single.
Avery Callaway’s RBI double in Game 1 scored Jordan Williams, while Jessie DeNardo opened Game 2 with an RBI single to score Callaway and account for Denmark’s other run.
North has a day off before hosting West at 6 p.m. Thursday. Denmark will follow the same schedule and host Gainesville as the Danes look to end their three-game losing streak.