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Softball: North sweeps Lambert to open region play
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North Forsyth junior Alexis Monroe fields a pop up Tuesday during Game 1 of the Raiders' doubleheader against Lambert. - photo by David Roberts

By Noah Rubin

For the Forsyth County News

Sitting at 4-1 entering Tuesday's doubleheader against Lambert, North Forsyth had an opportunity to allow their great start to the season to spill into region play.

The Raiders didn’t disappoint, sweeping the Longhorns with a 5-3 win in Game 1 and an 8-0 victory in Game 2.

North head coach Jim Cahill was thrilled with the way his team performed in their first two region games.

“It went pretty good,” Cahill said. “Obviously, to start out the season with a sweep is pretty good, especially against one of the better teams in the region. We played solid defense all game, and I think that was the key. We got some clutch hits, moved runners, scored some runners without a hit. Definitely some positives that we can build on.”

The Raiders had a lot of girls perform at a high level — Lauren Fields, Logan Currie, Taylor Pipkins, Alexis Monroe, Abby Castleberry and Ali Jones each had multiple hits — but it was Pipkins that stood above the rest. 

Between the two games, Pipkins had four RBIs, scored three runs, and had a two-run home run in Game 1.

“She was awesome,” Cahill said. “She did a really great job. She’s been awesome in center field and is batting third for us. She’s had some clutch at-bats and some clutch RBIs and had some again tonight.”

While the offense had no problem generating runs, the Raiders also did an excellent job defensively. Senior Bri Deleon allowed only three hits in the Game 2 shutout, while Olivia Tyson limited the Longhorns to three runs in Game 1, striking out six. 

North did not make an error in either game.

For Cahill, the biggest key wasn’t on offense or on defense, but an overall confidence that the team is exhibiting.

“I think we’re playing pretty confidently right now,” Cahill said. “Our girls go out there and expect to win. That’s been a big part of it because we’re kind of a new team and have a lot of new starters out there, so it’s been good to see everybody contribute.”

On the other side of things, Lambert coach Brooks Youngblood is excited for what’s in store for his team for the remainder of the season, despite the losses.

“It was the first region game,” Youngblood said. “It’s a long region season, and we started out playing the best. So, we’ll learn from it, and we’ll be ready to go. I’m hoping that matchup against them in the last region game of the year will have something on the line for us. I think, once we get some work in, it’ll be more like game one, and we’re excited for it.”

Courtney Sauer led the Longhorns at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBIs in Game 1. Sauer's two-run double in the top of the fifth drove in Madison Todd and Ireland Egan and briefly tied the game. But the Raiders responded in the following frame, when Currie sent an RBI triple into right field and Pipkins' two-run shot made it 5-2.

North will be at home again for their next game Thursday, as the Raiders host Mill Creek at 5 p.m.

Lambert’s next game will be this Friday against Vidalia in a tournament game.