It was a rough start for the North Lamar Pantherettes Monday night but the finish was sweet. North Lamar was forced to move their senior night game to North Texas Community College in Mt. Pleasant because of the rain. That didn't stop the offense, however, as North Lamar finished off the Lady Hawks in six innings by a score of 12-2.
Pleasant Grove started off the game with a big inning against freshman pitcher Reagan Richardson. The Lady Hawks scored two runs in the inning on three hits. After that inning, though, Pleasant Grove only managed two hits off of Richardson.
"I knew we just had to get the first inning over with and then we can recuperate," Richardson said after the game.
That is exactly what the Pantherettes did too. North Lamar finished with 12 runs on 14 hits. Eight of the nine batters had at least one hit in the game, and all but three had at least one RBI as well. It started in the first inning when Reagan started the game by getting hit by a pitch. Bailee Nickerson singled her home to open the North Lamar scoring. Nickerson would later score when Jaycie McEwin singled to right field.
North Lamar would add a couple more in the second inning as well. Lauren Hodges opened the inning with a single. She would advance to third thanks to a Jordan Jones sacrifice bunt and a Richardson single. Madison Morrison would drive her home. Richardson would then score on a Nickerson double.
North Lamar kept the momentum going in the third inning. Hodges doubled to center field. Jordan would then get her first hit since returning from two knee surgeries as she doubled to deep left field. She would also get her first RBI as Lauren scored on the play. Kayla Igleheart would score as a pinch runner on a Morrison sacrifice fly.
North Lamar wasn't done, though. Even with a 6-2 lead, they kept looking for more. After being held off the scoreboard in the fourth inning, the Pantherettes made up for it in the fifth. Hodges singled and Jordan walked. Richardson then sent an 2-0 pitch over the right field fence to blow the game wide open. After Nickerson and Sarah Penrose reached base, Erin Scholl drove them in with a double off the left field fence.
Offensively, the Pantherettes were led by Hodges and Richardson, who both had three hits. Scholl and Nickerson each had two hits for North Lamar. Richardson led the team with four RBI. Morrison, Scholl and Nickerson each had two.
"I've been struggling with slow pitchers," Hodges said after the game. "Tonight I waited on it and finally got some hits."
With the win, North Lamar wins the District Title and will face Tyler-Chapel Hill in the Bi-District Round of the playoffs. This was also the last regular season game that the three seniors will be a part of together. Jordan Jones, Sarah Penrose and Tanna Huie will be the three graduating from the Pantherettes. Tanna, who is now the biggest cheerleader for the team after having shoulder surgery.
When asked about her first hit after coming off knee surgery, Jordan wanted to first clarify that she is coming off two knee surgeries. She started off the interview with some weird dialect that is only known amongst softball team members apparently because I had no idea what she was saying.
"[The hit] felt amazing," she said. "I actually finally hit it."
Of course they were all happy and extremely happy that they had just won the district championship. Perhaps, though, Sarah said it best to end the night.
"I'm glad I got to spend tonight with this team."
Well said, Sarah. Well said.