Bedford North Lawrence Softball

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SOFTBALL: Stars go the distance to edge Edgewood

Marissa Watson

Marissa Watson

Run in bottom of 7th

the difference as BNL

wins 6-5 to stay perfect

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Tension, for the first time this season, found a foothold in the Bedford North Lawrence dugout late Saturday night.

A close game, a lead twice wasted, and a walk-off win. Those were new to the BNL agenda, especially for a team that had scored 38 runs in the first four games. Victory was still the outcome.

Cassidy Morron

Cassidy Morron

Video: BNL edges Edgewood

BNL pinch-runner Marissa Watson scampered home with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, capping a crazy finale to the BNL Invitational with a 6-5 win over Edgewood. BNL improved to 5-0 but had to grind and get a little dirty to overcome its mistakes.

The last miscue was Edgewood’s. Watson, running for Mackenzie Silvers after the BNL slugger had drawn a one-one walk, went around the horn on wild pitches, and she was tagged up and poised to test the arm of Edgewood right-fielder Jordan Howell when Cassidy Morron lofted a shallow fly ball. But Howell dropped the ball, and Watson made it home without incident.

“The good news is tonight we showed we could play poorly, play a good team, and still win,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert said. “We made a lot of mistakes.”

Most of the BNL problems came in the top of the fifth, when the Mustangs (0-3) struck for four runs – all with two outs – against Silvers to erase BNL’s 3-0 advantage. Steffi Farkas crunched a double to center to plate the first run, and Sydney Brinegar followed with a fast-sinking liner that popped off the glove of diving BNL right-fielder Karissa Salm, allowing two runs to score.

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SOFTBALL: Silvers’ thunder strikes down Thunderbirds

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Mackenzie Silvers

Junior hits home run,

drives in 5 as Stars

rumble to 11-4 victory

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The Thunderbirds were thunderstruck by BNL slugger Mackenzie Silvers. The thunder of the big gun in the Bedford North Lawrence lineup tore them apart.

Video: BNL thunders past Eastern

Silvers crushed a three-run home run in the first inning and added RBI singles in the second and fifth while powering the Stars to an 11-4 victory over Eastern Greene in Friday’s nightcap of the BNL Invitational.

BNL coach Brad Gilbert gathers his team for a discussion during Friday night's game with Eastern Greene. The Stars improved to 4-0 with an 11-4 victory.

BNL coach Brad Gilbert gathers his team for a discussion during Friday night’s game with Eastern Greene. The Stars improved to 4-0 with an 11-4 victory.

The Stars, who conquered Eastern 10-0 in five innings in the season opener on March 22, overcame sloppy defense (five errors) with offensive noise, and most of its came from Silvers in the cleanup spot as she had three of BNL’s 11 hits.

The big blow was the big fly  that erased Eastern’s early 2-0 lead. After Kaci Ikerd cracked a double to center and Rebecca Schoenung reached on an error, Silvers smacked her home run to left field on the second pitch she saw from Eastern starter Priscilla Laird, and that opened the floodgates of an attack that’s averaging 9.5 runs per game.

“She got a pitch she liked and hit it well,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert said.

Silvers spent extra time in the batting cage before the game, and the results were immediate.

“I just put a good swing on it,” she said. “It’s special. You put so much hard work into it, and when you finally do it, it feels like an accomplishment.”

BNL (4-0) broke away with five runs in the second. Silvers started the scoring with a run-scoring single, and with two outs Cassidy Morron ripped a base-loaded double to center. Emily Weber followed with a two-run double to left for an 8-2 lead.

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SOFTBALL: BNL overpowers New Washington

BNL's Kaci Ikerd cracks one of her four hits during Friday's 9-5 win over New Washington.

BNL’s Kaci Ikerd cracks one of her four hits during Friday’s 9-5 win over New Washington.

Ikerd’s four hits pace

BNL’s 16-hit assault

against Mustangs

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The game plan, BNL softball coach Brad Gilbert told one of his assistants, is to win the game.

Sounds simple, if not masterfully understated.

Video: BNL vs. New Washington

With his Stars, if the plan involves whacking the ball all over the diamond, it’s working perfectly.

BNL pounded out 16 hits, paced by Kaci Ikerd’s four and Cassidy Morron’s three, and scored in every inning but the first while overpowering New Washington 9-5 in the opening game of the BNL Invitational on Friday afternoon.

BNL's Rebecca Schoenung scampers home with a run, BNL is averaging 9 runs per game after topping New Washington 9-5 in the opening game of the BNL Invitational.

BNL’s Rebecca Schoenung scampers home with a run, BNL is averaging 9 runs per game after topping New Washington 9-5 in the opening game of the BNL Invitational.

The Stars (3-0) rattled the fences with five extra-base hits and scored three runs in both the third and fourth innings to erase New Washington’s early advantage.

“I’m excited about the way this team is hitting this year,” said Gilbert, whose team is averaging nine runs per game. “We’re putting the ball in play, going with the pitch and hitting to all fields.”

Rebecca Schoenung had two doubles while Mackenzie Silvers and Justice Kline added two hits apiece.

Schoenung got the offense cranked to full throttle with a two-run double to right in the third as BNL took a 3-2 lead. Karissa Salm followed with a single to center to score Schoenung. In the fourth, Ikerd lined a run-scoring single to center and Silvers poked a two-run single to right for a 7-2 edge.

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SOFTBALL: BNL strikes late to conquer North

Emily Weber

Emily Weber

Weber drives in 4

as Stars roll to 8-1

victory over Cougars

Box score

By Kyle Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

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Mackenzie Silvers

Despite low temperatures at the start of the game, Bedford North Lawrence was able to generate its own heat at the plate and on the mound as it defeated Bloomington North 8-1 Saturday afternoon.

Emily Weber led the offensive attack for the Stars with four runs batted in, while Mackenzie Silvers held the Cougars at bay with 10 strikeouts over five innings.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Stars finally put a run on the board.

Karissa Salm started the inning with a hit by pitch and then advanced to second on a passed ball. After reaching third after a sacrifice bunt from Cassidy Morron, Salm then scored on a grounder from Weber.

Then in the fifth inning the Stars broke open the scoring after hits from Salm and Weber to bring the score to 4-0.
The Stars would then add add four more runs in the sixth after hits from Kaci Ikerd, Silvers, and Haley Maddox. The Cougars would then scratch away a run in the final inning, but never put the ending in doubt.
“Watching this game you’d think we should be killing this ball, but when you have a kid (Bloomington North pitcher Diana Allman) who doesn’t throw very hard it messes up your timing,” said BNL coach Brad Gilbert. “But overall I thought we pitched pretty well and got a few key hits to generate some runs.”
BNL eventually cracked the code and started getting solid contact.
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SOFTBALL: BNL blanks Eastern Greene in opener

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BNL’s Mackenzie Silvers fires the ball toward the plate. Silvers worked a perfect fourth inning in relief, and the Stars pounded out 13 hits while conquering Eastern Greene 10-0 in five innings in the season opener on Friday.

Stars crank out 13

hits en route to 10-0

victory in 5 innings

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Bedford North Lawrence played freeze-out softball in its 2013 season opener on Friday afternoon.

As the late-arriving spring temperature plummeted, as blankets and winter gear became mandatory equipment for anyone immobile seeking comfort, the Stars cranked up the heat at the plate, pounding out 13 hits while shutting out Eastern Greene 10-0 in five innings.

Video: BNL tops Eastern Greene 10-0

Cassidy Morron

Cassidy Morron

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Karissa Salm

Sophomore left-hander Karissa Salm led the offensive assault with three hits, and junior right-hander Cassidy Morron paced the BNL parade of pitchers to the circle with four strikeouts over three innings. Eastern had only two hits and one threat as BNL shunned the Thunderbirds and excluded them from any opening-day action.

“It was,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert summarized, “a good start.”

As debuts go, especially in weather that took a frigid turn and threatened to dip to ice hockey standards, BNL’s performance was outstanding. The Stars struck for four runs in the second and five more in the freeze-frame fourth.

The long winter of batting practice paid immediate dividends as BNL – once the Stars quit hacking at the first pitch from Eastern starter Priscilla Laird –  went from the batting cage to uncaged. Emily Weber cracked a run-scoring single, Justice Kline followed with a hard single to center for another run, Eastern third baseman Libby Tarr misplayed a ball to allow another run, and Kaci Ikerd belted a double to left-center to cap the early outburst.

“We were excited and anxious,” Gilbert said. “We got settled down and started swinging at good pitches. I was pretty happy with our hitting.”

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BNL’s Cassidy Morron waits for a pitch to attack.

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SOFTBALL: BNL opener postponed

Bedford North Lawrence’s softball season opener with Eastern Greene, originally set for Thursday, has been moved to Friday at 5 p.m.

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SOFTBALL: BNL winning the arms race

Rebecca Schoenung

Rebecca Schoenung

Mackenzie Silvers

Mackenzie Silvers

Cassidy Morron

Cassidy Morron

Pitching depth key

as Stars start chase

for sectional title

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Bedford North Lawrence softball is winning the arms race.

Success in the sport is predicated on pitching. Everything hinges on the girl in the circle, 43 feet from home plate. With one quality hurler, victories came in great quantities. The Stars have three, and might use them all in every game during the 2013 campaign.

Video: BNL softball 2013 season preview

BNL, rebuilding its lineup following the loss of six seniors and five starters from last year’s 17-11 run, will be a young team in constant flux, shuffling lineups, positions and pitchers from game to game, even inning to inning. Only two seniors top the roster.

But the youth comes with talent and versatility. The pitching could lock it all in place.

BNL coach Brad Gilbert

BNL coach Brad Gilbert

“We have three pitchers that will see time, and we’re excited about that because we can give teams different looks,” said BNL coach Brad Gilbert, in the sixth year of his second stint with the program. “We have three kids that would be starters on a lot of teams.”

The anchor is junior Cassidy Morron, who accounted for all the wins last season (17-9 with a  2.15 ERA). The addition of junior Mackenzie Silvers (who pitched as a freshman at Orleans but sat out last season after moving to BNL) and the development of sophomore Rebecca Schoenung will allow Gilbert the luxury of allowing opposing hitters one crack at a pitcher before facing another the next time through the order.

Hit ‘em with your best shot. Fire away.

“When you go back and look at some of our losses, it was just one inning,” Gilbert said. “Our pitching has to be strong enough that we don’t have a couple of walks, we don’t have a couple of errors. We need to put together seven full innings.”

Graduation left some holes. Gilbert’s daughter Bailey, a four-time All-HHC shortstop, hit .386 with eight doubles and 16 RBIs last year, and she left as the school’s career leader in home runs, doubles and RBIs. Other offensive gaps were created by the departure of outfielders Kristen Salm (.395, 29 runs scored) and Portia Baker (.3537), and catcher Shelby Pittman (.325).

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