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Huntington North shuts down Garrett

PITCH: Sydney Selvage fires a pitch during Huntington North’s 6–1 victory over Garrett on Friday.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington North softball team cruised to a 6–1 home non-conference win over Garrett on Friday night, improving the Vikings’ season record to 9–9.

The game got out to a slow start, with just two batters having reached base heading into the bottom of the third inning.

However, things changed in the bottom of the third, as Katie Melcher got Huntington North off to a good start with a leadoff single. Melcher then moved to second on a passed ball in the next at-bat to put herself in scoring position.

Melcher did just that later in the same at-bat, as Macy Lange singled on a sharp ground ball to center field, giving the Vikings a 1–0 lead.

Two batters later, Kodi Douglass singled to put two runners on the base paths for Huntington North. In the ensuing at-bat, Laney Shaw drove a double to left field, plating both Lange and Douglass to extend the Viking advantage to 3–0.

Garrett threatened to bring the game back in the top of the fourth, eventually placing runners on second and third, but failed to score any runs.

Huntington North took advantage of the visitors’ missed opportunity by doubling their lead to 6–0 in the bottom of the fifth, compliments of back-to-back RBI doubles by Shaw and Megan Stephan to score Douglass and Shaw, respectively, as well as a defensive error which allowed Jenna Poulson to score for the Vikings.

Garrett got one run back in the top of the sixth on a fielder’s choice to cut the Huntington North lead to 6–1, but recorded just one hit the rest of the way, resulting in a 6–1 outcome for the Vikings.

“I thought we did a pretty good job hitting the ball,” said head coach Paris Seibold. “We scored enough runs. I was pretty pleased with what we’ve done. We played a little better defensively. We had a couple little mess-ups, but you don’t mind one or two mistakes; you just can’t have too many.”

Sydney Selvage picked up the victory on the mound for Huntington North, tossing five innings in the start. Selvage allowed three hits and no runs and struck out two Garrett batters.

Shaw came on to pitch the final two innings to earn the save for the Vikings, giving up one hit and one earned run while striking out a pair of batters.

“Sydney pitched really well,” Seibold said. “She kept them off balance. Her curveball was working. She has a little drop rollover drop pitch and she’s getting a lot of strikes. … I could have pitched her the whole game. They might have caught up with her a little bit, but I’ve been mixing them up a little bit (and) letting Laney throw a few innings to kind of use them in a tandem.”

Though both teams’ offenses started slowly, Huntington North’s offense finally found their game, finishing with nine total hits after failing to record any through the first two frames.

Douglass, Melcher and Shaw all tallied a pair of hits, while Sophie Eckert, Lange and Stephan rounded out the hitting with one knock apiece.

“The thing we’ve been working on is trying not to reach for a pitch that’s out of the strike zone,” Seibold said. “We had a couple of those, and I remind them, ‘Hey, you’re reaching.’ My philosophy is ‘Don’t reach; rip.’ If you’re swinging hard, you can’t reach. … If you’re on your toes and (reaching), it’s not a good pitch. We’ve been focused on that: trying to hit better pitches. I think they’re doing better.”

Seibold added he feels encouraged with the way the team has been trending of late, which is an important aspect of having success in the postseason.

The Vikings are scheduled to host DeKalb in another NE8 duel on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.