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The Carroll County softball team took a giant leap forward in their doubleheader against visiting Notre Dame before falling slightly backwards again. The Lady Panthers shutout the Pandas 10-0 in game one, but followed that up with a 10-1 loss in game two.
Following their victory, Carroll head coach Ken Blair said his team did not do anything spectacular to get the win. “We made the routine plays like we’ve been trying to tell them, if you make the routine plays that they would have success and it broke through a little bit today,” he said. “We played somebody who is closer to our ability level, and you can see we can play with teams that are around our ability level. We were a little bit more focused today. I think they felt like they had a shot today, whereas maybe some of the other games they haven’t, and that’s affected their mental aspect of the game.”
The Lady Panthers (2-8) scored in the opening inning after Kelsey Ogden singled to the shortstop and advanced to second then third base on passed balls. Mackenzie Ogden hit an RBI single to centerfield to put the home team up, 1-0.
In the second inning, the Lady Panthers took over the game, scoring six runs and batting through their lineup. The first two batters reached on an error, and Mackenzi Hawkins followed up with a RBI single. After another fielding error and a fielder’s choice that resulted in an out at home plate by Notre Dame (5-10), Kelsey Ogden hit a single knocking in two runs. Sarah Hawkins grounded out, but managed to bring in another runner. Mackenize Ogden finished off the scoring with a RBI triple. She also scored on a passed ball by the Panda catcher.
Mackenzi Ogden led the team with three hits, an RBI triple and two singles, followed by Kelsey Ogden with two singles. Sarah Hawkins, Kayla Williamson, Mackenzi Hawkins and Michaela Roberts each had one hit.
While the Lady Panthers have been making contact with the ball for most of the season, things just fell their way in the first game, and their base running was more aggressive. “I think you pretty much can’t pick out anyone in particular, but all the way down the lineup, we put the ball into play, and we had people that did their jobs and when they were supposed to get bunts down, they did,” Blair said. “We did the things that teams are supposed to do today, and it worked out pretty good for us.”
Kayley Perry and Sarah Hawkins split time on the mound, which Blair said seemed to be a pretty effective strategy.
“I think [the win] should be a confidence booster,” he said in an interview between games. “We’ve got a couple tough games coming up with some really good teams, and hopefully this will get us on a roll.”
In the second game, it was the Pandas (6-10) who put up a huge second inning, scoring seven runs on four hits and four errors by the Lady Panthers (2-9) to give them an 8-0 advantage.
Carroll did not score until the fifth inning when Williamson singled and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Hannah McEndre walked, and Mackenzi Hawkins singled, loading the bases. Haley Damron drew a walk, scoring the Lady Panthers’ only run for the game.
Carroll County registered just four hits in the game, the other two coming from Mackenzie Ogden and Perry.
Barring a weather-related cancellation, the Lady Panthers were scheduled to travel to Oldham County on Tuesday after the newspaper went to press. They are scheduled to begin the NCKC Tournament Wednesday against Walton-Verona at Gallatin County.