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Big fifth inning lifts Vikings over Jay County

RBI: Sophomore first baseman Maddie Levy recorded three RBIs during Huntington North’s 12–7 victory over Jay County on Monday.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

SOFTBALL

The Huntington North softball team picked up a 12–7 victory over Jay County on Monday evening, improving the Vikings’ season record to 3–1.

Junior catcher Kodi Douglass knocked a lead-off single to open the game and then advanced to third base following a stolen base and groundout.

Sophomore first baseman Maddie Levy sent a pitch to left field for a single to bring in Douglass and give the Vikings an early 1–0 lead.

Jay County answered back with one run apiece in both the bottom of the first and second innings to grab a 2–1 advantage after two frames.

After Douglass reached via an error to open the third inning, sophomore shortstop Megan Stephan lined a single to left field to give Douglass her second run scored of the contest and tie the game at 2–2.

The scoreboard would remain unchanged through the fourth inning, as the game saw just 10 hitters step up to the plate from the bottom of the third through the bottom of the fourth.

However, Huntington North’s offense blew the game wide open in the top of the fifth with hit parade for the ages.

Douglass and junior center fielder Laney Shaw started the frame with back-to-back singles before Stephan doubled to center field to score both runners and give the Vikings a 4–2 lead.

Levy doubled on the ensuing at-bat to bring in Stephan for a 5–2 advantage, while junior right fielder Katie Melcher then sent a single to the outfield in the following at-bat to score Levy and extend the Viking lead to 6–2.

Senior left fielder Macy Lange brought in Melcher in the next at-bat with an RBI double to push Huntington North’s lead to 7–2, while junior pitcher Sydney Selvage followed with an RBI single to score Lange for an 8–2 Viking advantage, all before a single out had been recorded in the inning.

Three batters later, Douglass—who was batting for her second time of the frame—doubled to score junior second baseman Corynn Barton, who had reached on a single with one out, to extend the Huntington North lead to 9–2.

Shaw then recorded an RBI groundout on the next at-bat scoring sophomore third baseman Sophie Eckert, who reached via an error earlier in the inning, to cap off a seven-run outburst for the Vikings in the inning to establish a 10–2 lead when the third out had been registered.

Jay County would answer with a trio of runs on a throwing error by the Viking defense in the bottom of the fifth to cut the gap to 10–5 after loading the bases with no outs, but Huntington North would get one run back in the top of the sixth inning compliments of a sacrifice fly to score Levy and push the Viking lead to 11–5.

The Patriots scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to bring the score to 11–7, but Huntington North again answered with a run in the top of the seventh thanks to a sacrifice fly to bring home Douglass to give the Vikings a 12–7 lead, which would be the game’s final score after a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

Levy and Stephan led the way with three RBIs apiece for Huntington North, while Lange recorded two. Douglass, Melcher, Selvage and Shaw rounded out the RBIs for the Vikings with one each.

Douglass also posted a game-high four runs, while Levy was the only other Viking to score multiple times with two.

Selvage threw all seven innings to pick up the win on the mound for Huntington North and allowed 11 hits and seven runs, three of which were unearned. Selvage also struck out seven Patriots in her outing.

The Vikings played Northrop on Tuesday, but results were not available as of The Herald-Press’s deadline.

Huntington North will host Woodlan on Thursday. First pitched is scheduled for 5 p.m.

GIRLS TENNIS

The Huntington North girls tennis team opened their 2019 campaign with a 3–2 road victory over Bishop Dwenger on Monday to start their season with a 1–0 record.

Luckily for the Vikings, each of their three singles players performed well to earn victories, as Huntington North would need each of the wins to claim the overall 3–2 triumph.

Senior Jessica Henline won her first singles matchup against Savanna Henry 2–0 (6–0, 6–0) to get the Vikings off to a good start, while senior Emily Bokel edged Bishop Dwenger’s Laura Beust 2–0 (7–6, 6–4) in second singles action.

Junior Emily Daas completed the singles sweep for Huntington North by defeating Leah Lashurl 2–0 (6–1, 6–1) in third singles.

Doubles action proved to be a different story, however, as Bishop Dwenger would claim both doubles matches.

Senior Macy Wohlford and junior Maisy Kesler lost their first doubles match to Nicoletta Veracco and Mercedes Gonzales 2–0 (4–6, 2–6).

Despite taking an early 1–0 lead (6–3) in their second doubles matchup, senior Crosley Stanley and junior Sydney Smekends lost the second and third sets (3–6, 2–6) to give give Bishop Dwenger’s Sophie Vandegreff and Alyssa Ciocca a 2–1 win.

“I thought the girls did a nice job in their first match of the season,” said head coach Blake Childs. “I have five new girls to the varsity lineup and I thought they did well. With it being their first match, you could see that there was some (nerves), but they overcame them and they were able to get the win. I think as they get more experience they are going to be really competitive this year. Jessica Henline did a great job leading the way at (first) singles; she played really well.”

Huntington North played at Peru on Tuesday, but results were not available as of The Herald-Press’s deadline.

The Vikings open their home schedule with a duel against Southwood on Wednesday at 5 p.m.