After clinching its first district title since 2016 last week, the North softball team is on a mission to finish their entire district schedule undefeated.
With a big, 16-4 road win over Princeton on Tuesday night, North is now a game away from dancing with district perfection. The Lady Bulldogs, as they have done all season long, used an explosive offense to get the job done after cranking out a 16-hit attack led by five Lady Bulldogs who had multi-hit games.
North turned two hits and three walks in the top of the first inning into three runs and never looked back on its way to a ninth district victory. Despite the playoffs being a week away, North is already sharpening up its playoff mindset to close out district action.
“Today’s performance is what we’ve been working on all season, to be a dominant offensive team and the results are due to the hard work each and every one of our girls has put in this year,” said Olivia Guin, North head coach. “We are making adjustments to every single type of pitching we see and today we made adjustments to a little slower pitching, which has given us trouble in the past. Each game day, we make goals and today was no different because we want to enter the playoffs with a playoff mindset already in hand.”
North senior Paige Cappell blasted a big home run over the left-field fence to kick off the top of the third inning and give North a 6-1 lead. Cappell’s homer sparked a six-hit, six-run inning that allowed North to eventually run-rule Princeton. The hitting attack is more impressive when considering that four of North’s hits went for extra bases in the inning.
North got an exclamation point home run in the top of the fifth when junior Cierra Faubion smashed a 250-foot blast over center field to cap off here 3-of-3 date at the plate while giving North a 13-2 lead.
“It felt amazing to hit a home run I knew was gone when it left my bat, but the bigger thing was we showed tonight that our team can hit one through nine and it’s going to take a tough team to get us out in the playoffs because we are ready,” Faubion said. “The fact we have been doing so well in district as a team has only added to our confidence and winning the next game and going undefeated would only add to our confidence that much more.”
On the mound, despite not having her best stuff, senior Kaitlyn Derheim produced a solid performance in striking out four and only allowing three hits. She also went 2-of-3 at the plate and brought in two runs.
“It’s cool to start my high school career as district champions and end it as a district champ and going undefeated will be a huge bonus,” Derheim said. “The main thing now is to keep all this momentum we’ve built and take it into the playoffs, and today we took a big step towards doing that.”