Bedford North Lawrence Sports
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SOFTBALL: Buzzing Stars sting Bluejackets

Leona Morron

BNL pitcher Leona Morron prepares to fire during Monday’s clash with Mitchell. Morron allowed only 3 hits as the Stars thumped the Bluejackets 17-0.

BNL’s 8-run first inning

leads to 17-0 triumph

as Morron fires 3-hitter

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The noise level was noticeable, the constant singing, shouting and chanting coming from the Bedford North Lawrence dugout. If all that chatter, all that static, all that buzzing was meant to distract and rattle the opponent, it worked.

From a shaky warm-up session to BNL’s 8-run eruption in the first inning, Mitchell never looked comfortable. Jittery, nervous, perhaps intimidated, definitely out of character for a team with a winning record. The Bluejackets were the ones getting stung, and the outcome was quick but hardly painless.

The Stars blasted to a 17-0 victory over their county rivals on Monday afternoon, cranking out 15 hits while freshman left-hander Leona Morron twirled a 3-hitter. Everything worked in sync for BNL, and nothing went right for the young Bluejackets. That’s a bad combination, and that explains the blowout in five innings.

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BASEBALL: Alices avenge loss in extra innings

Austin Long

Austin Long

Jackson Bartlett

Jackson Bartlett

Vincennes Lincoln clips

BNL 4-3 with run in 8th

Box score

VINCENNES – Vincennes Lincoln avenged an earlier loss to Bedford North Lawrence, scoring in the bottom of the eighth inning to edge the Stars 4-3 on Monday night.

BNL, which had conquered the Alices 6-3 during the season-opening tournament, fell to 10-6 while Lincoln improved to 11-6.

Lincoln scored in the eighth against BNL relief pitcher Drew Hensley. With one out, a hit batter, a walk and a base hit plated the deciding run.

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BOYS TRACK: Stars finish 3rd in Seymour Invite

Evan Baker

Evan Baker

Justin Sims

Justin Sims

Bedford North Lawrence finished third in the five-team Seymour Invitational, held at BNL because of construction on the track and football facility at Seymour, on Monday night.

Seymour won the event with 111 points, followed by Jennings County (95) and the Stars (74).

Seymour Invitational results

The Stars won five events. Micah Wagner crossed the line first in the 100 meter dash in 11.35 seconds, and Evan Baker was victorious in the 200 in 24.10. Justin Sims claimed the 110 high hurdles in 15.58.

BNL also won two relays. Isaac Kuehn, Alex Adams, Garrett Flinn and Wagner prevailed in the 400 in 44.38, and that same foursome took the 1600 in 3:32.75.

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GIRLS TENNIS: Olympians cruise past Stars

Ali Adams

Ali Adams

Jaclyn Dufresne

Jaclyn Dufresne

East sweeps to 5-0 win

in preview of HHC clash

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Bedford North Lawrence got a sneak preview of its first-round opponent for next week’s Hoosier Hills Conference tournament. The Stars, winless and struggling to find consistency, have a tough challenge ahead.

Columbus East was threatened in only one set on the five courts while cruising to a 5-0 victory over BNL on Monday afternoon. The Stars (0-8) will host the Olympians once again on May 9 in the league tournament opener.

“It is a learning experience, but we definitely could have hung a little bit better on more courts,” BNL coach Joni Stigall said. “It’s one of those frustrating years, but I think we’re doing the best we can. We’re going back to the drawing board again.”

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BOYS BASKETBALL: Day chooses Franklin College

BNL's Braxton Day matched Romeo Langford with 32 points, but he couldn;t stop the Bulldogs from winning the outright HHC title.

BNL’s Braxton Day will continue his basketball career at Franklin College.

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Bedford North Lawrence senior Braxton Day will continue his playing career at Franklin College.

Day averaged 24.4 points and 6.9 rebounds as BNL finished 14-11 in 2015-16, and he concluded his career with 1,233 points, fourth on the school’s all-time list.

Day, named to the Hoosier Hills Conference’s First Team, had sensational games last season against Whiteland (a career-high 43 points), Bloomington North (38 in the season opener), Madison (35) and Class 4-A state champion New Albany (32).

The Grizzlies are in a rebuilding mode after going 4-21 last season under head coach Kerry Prather. Franklin College also went 5-20 and 10-16 the previous two seasons.

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BOYS GOLF: No rain on BNL’s victory parade

BNL freshman Ethan Stanley cracks a tee shot through the rain during Saturdays BNL Invitational at Otis Park. Stanley shot a 76 to lead the Stars to the team title.

BNL freshman Ethan Stanley cracks a tee shot through the rain during Saturday’s BNL Invitational at Otis Park. Stanley shot a 76 to lead the Stars to the team title.

BNL wades through field

to win first Invitational

championship since 2012

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Soaked and solemn, trudging like soldiers on a reconnaissance mission, attempting in vain to stay dry and keep their scores afloat, they marched along in high ground at Otis Park on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The annual BNL Invitational has been cancelled only once in its long history, although the latest edition was a candidate for that. But come fire or high water, the event went on. Rain gear, umbrellas, towels, dry grips, gloves and patience were more important that a swing or an ego. The unprepared suffered, and the misery index was high, as were the numbers on the damp, disintegrating scorecards that were ultimately turned in for translation.

Koby Robb peers through the rain to track the flight of his tee shot on the second hole. Robb carded a 79.

Koby Robb peers through the rain to track the flight of his tee shot on the second hole. Robb carded a 79.

Through this veil of raindrops, Bedford North Lawrence emerged with a championship. It made the unbearable conditions worth the price. The 20th-ranked Stars won their own showcase event for the first time since 2012, carding a team total of 316 to edge No.14 Evansville North (321) and unheralded Madison (327) for the crown.

Golf is tough enough when concentration and focus are not divided. When the attention is tuned to keeping dry on every shot, it doubles the degree of difficulty. So any quality score was special.

BNL Invitational scores

There weren’t many of those. Madison’s Austin Mahoney was the medalist with a 2-over 74, and BNL freshman Ethan Stanley carded a 76 to pace the Stars to the title. Only 10 players broke 80 in the 18-team field. Scoring, even with lift-clean-place rules in effect in the fairways, was a matter of mind over the elements.

 

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BASEBALL: Two pitching gems for sparkling Stars

Austin Long

Austin Long is greeted at home plate after slugging a solo home run against North Daviess on Friday night.

BNL’s Mathews and Mack

heal the pitching wounds

as Stars sweep doubleheader

North Daviess box score

Martinsvillle box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

After getting hammered and slammed during the last two outings, Bedford North Lawrence’s bruised pitching staff applied some first-aid to those wounds on Friday night.

The Stars, reeling after allowing allowing 29 runs against Linton (an 18-11 loss on Monday) and Columbus East (down 11-2 when rain washed on that outcome on Tuesday), responded with back-to-back quality performances while conquering North Daviess and Martinsville in a split doubleheader on Friday night.

Cole Mathews eyes his target. Mathews went 6 innings and allowed only three hits against North Daviess.

Cole Mathews eyes his target. Mathews went 6 innings and allowed only three hits against North Daviess.

Cole Mathews and Mason Mack twirled the gems as BNL stopped North Daviess (5-0) and Martinsville (2-1) to improve to 10-5.

If the Stars were shell-shocked from the barrage, they didn’t show it, surrendering only 7 hits and 1 run in the 14 innings.

“We did a nice job of getting ahead of hitters, making good pitches and keeping the lead-off guy off base,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “That’s what we didn’t do in the 10 innings we played earlier in the week. Nine times, the lead-off guy got on, and that puts pressure on your defense. That makes it tougher.”

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TRACK: Stars finish second in Big Blue Relays

Garrett Flinn

Garrett Flinn

Carrie Flinn

Carrie Flinn

NORTH VERNON – Bedford North Lawrence boys and girls track teams both finished second to Jennings County during the Big Blue Relays at Jennings County on Friday night.

In the boys meet, the Stars scored 112 points to finish second behind the Panthers (118). BNL also scored 112 points in the girls meet while Jennings County totaled 146.

Blue Blue Relays results

BNL posted four wins in the boys meet. Isaac Kuehn, Alex Adams, Garrett Flinn and Micah Wagner combined to claim the 400 relay in 44.21, and that same foursome took the 1600 relay in 3:32.36.

The Stars also finished first in the 800 relay as Wyatt Martin, Nate Bartlett, Evan Baker and Dylan Bortner crossed the line in 1:36.91. BNL’s James Ford, Baker, Bortner and Braden Weilbaker won the 800 sprint medley in 1:40.46.

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SOFTBALL: Stars wins extra-inning thriller

Katie Nicholson

Katie Nicholson

Zoe Adams

Zoe Adams

BNL erupts for 4 runs

in 11th inning to conquer

Class A No.10 Loogootee

Box score

LOOGOOTEE – Bedford North Lawrence broke through for four runs in the top of the 11th inning to finally battle past Class A No.10 Loogootee 6-2 on Friday night.

The Stars (9-4 and ranked No.19 in 4-A) took a 2-0 lead in the third, then went silent offensively until collecting five hits – almost all of them on the infield – to take the lead against Loogootee hurler Sidney Davis (8-2).

Katie Nicholson started the rally with a single to right field, and Jenna Dufresne followed with a bunt single. Marissa Watson lifted a single to right to chase home Nicholson with the go-ahead run.

BNL kept up its small-ball attack. Cassie Rutledge reached on a bunt to load the bases, and Morgan Lambrecht caught the Lions playing back when she dropped another bunt for a single to score Dufrense. Kiana Brown had yet another bunt to score a run before Allie Crulo-Rood singled to left to complete the scoring.

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COLUMN: Weaving another tangled web at BNL

BNL coach Jamie Hudson and the Stars, who have lost 11 straight games to South, can sweep the Bloomington schools for the first time since 1995. Photo courtesy of QT Photography

Former BNL coach Jamie Hudson guided the Stars to 14 wins in his final season.

Decision to replace Hudson

leaves program in sad state

with uncertain future ahead 

Hear the snickering? Feel the outrage? See the finger pointing? Smell that unmistakable odor? That’s the reaction to the North Lawrence Community Schools board’s refusal to follow the recommendation of administrators and extend the contract of Bedford North Lawrence boys basketball coach Jamie Hudson.

Across the state, BNL is now a laughing stock for the way this was handled. Around the community, there is anger concerning the public character assassination that was falsely perpetrated and allowed without defense. Outside the program, the rumors and whispering are running rampant.

What a sad state. What a tangled web has been weaved.

Once again, a personal agenda, barely disguised, came forward before the board, which was created to enact policy and execute it, not to listen to coaching grievances. Once again, small-minded, small-town politics played a role. Scenes from the films “Hoosiers” and “Footloose” come to mind. Once again, the chain of command was circumvented or ignored.

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