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BEULAVILLE — The North Brunswick Scorpions softball team beat East Duplin 9-2 May 8 and won the East Central Conference championship.
Each team entered the final conference game 7-2, and North had beaten East Duplin 15-14 in a game earlier this season. But in the rematch, Scorpion pitcher Preston Ellenberg held East Duplin scoreless for 5.1 innings en route to the seven-inning victory. She gave up three hits, walked two and hit one. She struck out six.
In the rotation, it was Kasey Klutz’s turn to pitch, but North coach Brittney Lehrschall said Klutz was not 100 percent, so Ellenberg started against East Duplin.
“I got two No. 1 pitchers,” Lehrschall said. “I say that all the time.”
Ellenberg was North’s pitcher in the earlier game.
“She redeemed herself tonight,” Lehrschall said. “That’s what I told her. She’s got to come back and show them what kind of pitcher you really are and close the game out. And she did.”
North finished with 16 hits as every batter had at least one hit.
“I thought they played great,” Lehrschall said.
Shenice Harrison was 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Stacy Fodrie was 2-for-4 with a walk and one RBI. Kasey Klutz was 2-for-3 with one RBI. Mackaela Smith was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Summer White was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Macey Bordeaux doubled and walked. Tasia Bolling singled and had one RBI. Val Renna singled. Ellenberg singled and had one RBI.
North scored four runs in the top of the second inning — two of them on Harrison’s two-out single to right field — in taking a 4-0 lead. Two runs in the fifth and two in the sixth helped clinch the victory.
North, 16-5 overall, now is the host of at least two games in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association class 2A state playoffs.
The victory came two days after North finished with three hits and made three errors in a 5-4 loss at Northside, a loss that ended an 11-game winning streak and prevented North from clinching the conference title.
“It was probably one of the worst games we played all season,” Lehrschall said.
She talked to her team the next day and emphasized team unity.
“Let’s regroup and refocus on the idea that, no matter what, we have each other’s back from here on out,” she said. “That’s what I expect from the girls — to be able to adjust and bounce back.”