With their 10-4 Division IV district semifinal win over Fisher Catholic on Tuesday, the Northmor softball team will be able to collect a postseason trophy for the first time in program history.
“In 27 years, there have been no trophies,” said head coach Mark Wiseman. “We’re going to put a trophy in our trophy case, whether it’s a district championship trophy or a district runner-up trophy, so that’s cool.”
In topping the Irish, the Golden Knights were able to put runs on the board in four of the six innings they went up to bat, including a four-run first.
After Fisher Catholic took an early lead on a double by Kaleigh Golden and RBI single from Kaelyn Nagke, Northmor went to work. Singles by Maddie Hoverland, Taylor Cantrell and Morgan Wiseman, as well as an errant pitch from Irish starter Emma Mitchell, staked the team to a 2-1 lead before the first out had even been recorded.
Megan Adkins then got a hit. Then, with two on and one out, Mitchell committed back-to-back walks against Emily Zeger and Brooke Kissling to bring in another run. A single by Chloey Keen would then make the score 4-1.
Fisher would get a pair of runs in the top of the third to cut the Golden Knight lead to one, but they wouldn’t waste any time in responding. Maddie Simpson opened the inning with a double and a bunt hit by Zeger put runners on the corners. One run came in on a fly ball from Kissling and other scored on a hit from Keen to stake Northmor to a 6-3 lead.
“The girls came out,” said Mark Wiseman. “We told them we have to come out fast. Tonight, they responded and did what they needed to do.”
Two more runs would cross the plate for Northmor in the fourth. Hits by Adkins and Simpson put two one and a two-out walk to Kissling loaded the bases. An errant pitch scored one run and a ground ball by Raelyn Fulk led to a second registering, as Northmor increased their lead to a five-run margin.
Golden would take an Adkins pitch out of the park in the fifth, but no more damage was done against the Northmor pitcher, who struck out 10 in the game.
“This game was won with pitching,” said Wiseman. “Megan was on her game tonight and our defense was solid. Megan made nice adjustments and got the job done.”
Northmor would add a pair of runs when Zeger doubled in Cantrell and Simpson in the fifth inning and Adkins was able to shut down the Irish in the final two innings to keep the Golden Knight season going. Next up will be a third contest with Danville Thursday on the road for a berth in the regional semifinals.
“That’s pretty cool,” said Wiseman of getting a third contest with a KMAC rival with a lot on the line. “This league, we’ve known for forever it’s kind of a meat-grinder.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS