Whiteland took advantage of Columbus North’s errors and walks to post a 7-5 home softball win Monday.
Only two of the seven runs the Warriors scored on the cold day were earned, thanks to three North miscues. Even so, Whiteland needed to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth to escape with its first win of the season.
“I thought we were aggressive, all the way through,” Whiteland coach Katie Mitchell said. “Especially late in the game.”
Whiteland (1-2) jumped on North early, scoring three unearned runs in the bottom of the first after two Bull Dog errors and two walks.
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A two-run double by Addy Csikos in the third scored Maddie Margraf and Jordan Smith to stake Whiteland to a 5-0 lead.
Columbus North (0-5) had plenty of chances to answer Whiteland in the early innings, but a lack of patience at the plate doomed the Bull Dogs. North left five runners on base in the first two innings, including two in scoring position in the fourth.
“We weren’t disciplined at the plate,” North coach Sam McDonald said. “(The umpire) was calling a real tight zone, and that’s what we were stressing to the girls; make them groove it up there. … When we’re waiting for a pitch that we can crush, we’ll be good. Until we learn to do that, we’re going to struggle.”
North finally displayed that patience in the fifth inning, and it paid off huge for the Bull Dogs. Brittany Reichenba greeted reliever Delanie Gourley with a single, Haylee Acton doubled off the fence and Sierra Norman homered over the left-field fence to close the gap to 5-3. Jenna Fath’s RBI single two batters later closed the gap to one.
Shelby Gibson, who pitched the first four innings for Whiteland, came back to the circle to get the Warriors out of the inning. But North tied the game an inning later when Meghan Waggoner led off with a double and later scored on the front end of a double steal.
But Whiteland wasn’t finished. Gourley reached on a bunt single, stole second and scored on a error to put the Warriors ahead in the sixth. An RBI double by Margraf gave Whiteland an insurance run.
Gibson then sat the Bull Dogs down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Gibson struck out three and walked two while allowing one unearned run in six and a third innings to get the win. Waggoner gave up two earned runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts in six innings and suffered the loss.
Gourley and Margraf had two hits each to lead Whiteland. Acton went 3 for 3 while Norman and Lilly Hurt had two hits each for North.
Whiteland hosts Plainfield today, while Columbus North travels to Franklin Central on Thursday.