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SHALLOTTE — North Brunswick beat West Brunswick 9-2 in a non-conference softball game Monday, April 28.
“We haven’t been able to win at their place since I’ve been coaching,” North coach Brittney Lehrschall said, “so it was one of our goals going into the game.”
North took advantage of Trojan mistakes in scoring four runs in the third inning and taking a 5-0 lead.
“We’re doing a good job of capitalizing on that,” Lehrschall said.
North finished with eight hits. Valerie Renna had two hits and one RBI. Sophomore Tasia Bolling had two hits. Preston Ellenberg hit a run-scoring double. Junior leadoff hitter Stacy Fodrie had two hits, a walk, two stolen bases and four RBIs.
“That’s why she’s there,” Lehrschall said. “She’s a veteran player for us. She plays like a senior. She’s a great leadoff. She’s fast. She can put it down. She can hit it. She’s a big threat at the top of the lineup.
Fodrie was at the plate in the top of the third when a wild pitch allowed a run to score and put North ahead 4-0. Then on a 3-2 pitch, she singled home a run for a 5-0 lead.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, she singled to center, driving home two runs for a 9-2 lead.
“She’s followed by Shenice (Harrison), who’s hitting the ball well,” Lehrschall said. “Kasey (Klutz) is also a threat with speed, power. And we have Preston (Ellenberg) with power in the four spot. We’re hitting through the lineup. I really don’t think you can pitch around any one of them because you got someone behind them waiting to get at it.”
Harrison walked and stole a base. Klutz walked twice and had one RBI. Ellenberg, a junior, had the run-scoring double.
Klutz, a junior, was the winning pitcher. She gave up nine hits, walked three, hit one and struck out eight.
“She’s pitching well right now,” Lehrschall said. “She’s definitely pitched in some big games. She pitched well against Ashley. I think she had nine strikeouts the first time we played them, seven the second time. She’s getting it done against the big teams.
“Preston is getting it done, as well. She had an injury early in the season and she’s bounced back.
“The pitching staff is deep. They can be No. 1 on anyone else’s staff. I always say we have two number ones in terms of being in the circle. And that makes a huge difference for a team when you have any one you can go with. Any given game I can go with either one of them.”
For West (12-6), freshman Maddi Emmons had two singles and a walk. Senior Nicole Phillips walked twice and singled twice. Junior Caroline Gore had two hits and one RBI. Freshman McKenzie Benton had a run-scoring single.
Starter Emmons gave up four hits and five runs in three innings. She walked five, hit one and struck out five. Gore gave up four hits and four runs. She walked three and struck out six.
West freshman catcher Haley Long threw out three runners.
“We made a couple of running mistakes,” Lehrschall said. “Some I felt we legit, some I felt were not. We just roll with it. That’s usually my philosophy. Just make the adjustment.”
West had two errors and misplayed two other hits. North made no errors.
“At the beginning of the year,” Lehrschall said, “we made some errors. We’ve made the adjustment. I’m pretty pleased. We’re strong defensively.”
North, with two seniors in the starting lineup is 13-4 and, like West, which also has two seniors in its lineup, is in contention for a conference championship. North plays on Friday at home against Dixon in a game for first place in the ECC. West plays on Thursday at Ashley for a conference title in the MEC.
“We’ve been playing well,” Lehrschall said. “The girls have confidence. We have a core group that we’ve had for a while. We’ve got our groove going at the right time.”
North takes over
first in ECC
LELAND — North Brunswick beat Dixon 10-2 Friday, May 2, in a game for first place in the East Central Conference.
North, which won its 11th straight game, is 7-1 in the conference and 15-4 overall. Dixon dropped to 5-2, 11-8. The victory avenged an 8-4 loss April 1.
Against Dixon, leadoff hitter Fodrie hit an inside-the-park home in the third inning and stretched a single in the sixth to another inside-the-park home. Both times she slid across home plate.
Bolling, the No. 8 hitter, doubled twice and had one RBI.
“She has come through for us in some close games,” Lehrschall said. “In the East Duplin game, she hit a home run to tie the game.”
Ellenberg walked twice and had a run-scoring double. Renna walked and hit a two-run single. Bordeaux hit a sacrifice fly. Klutz and Harrison each singled. Smith had a run-scoring single.
Klutz singled and was the winning pitcher. She gave four hits, walked two, hit one and struck out 11 in the seven-inning game.
North trailed 2-0 but Fodrie’s first homer cut the lead to 2-1 in the third. North then took advantage of two errant Dixon throws in scoring seven runs in the fifth and clinching the victory.
“I expect us to put more than three or four runs on the board,” Lehrschall said. “That’s our average. Not to disregard the other team, but that’s our expectation to ourselves. We’re going to put up runs and we’re going to hit the ball hard.”
The game was special for Lehrschall, as it was Senior Night for Smith and Harrison, and they have been players for Lehrschall ever since she became coach at North.
North finishes the conference season this week with games at Northside (North won 7-2 April 4) and East Duplin (North won 14-13 in eight innings April 10).
“I told the ladies we’ve had a lot of firsts this year since I’ve been coaching,” Lehrschall said. “We want to keep rolling, keep improving. We don’t want to take anything for granted.”