CLAYTON — Mallory Woods struck out seven, surrendered three hits and hit one batter during seven innings of pitching Wednesday to help lead Northmont to a 7-1 victory over division rival Fairmont in the Lady Bolts first softball game of the season.
Woods also went 2 for 4 at the plate with a pair of singles and one run batted in (RBI).
Fairmont pitcher Danielle Wilhelm gave up eight hits, five earned runs, hit one batter and struck out three. Her teammates committed four fielding errors that accounted for two unearned runs.
Fairmont took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Kierah Parker reached base on a fielding error and scored on a single by Shelbi Tharps, who led the Lady Firebirds by going 2 for 3 with one RBI.
In the bottom of the first inning the Lady Bolts took a 3-1 lead and never looked back. Anna Mangen led off with a single and Cousin Cory Mangen reached base on an error. Taylor Hoover belted a triple to score both Mangens. Hoover later scored on a ground out by Whitney Fiedler to put Northmont up by two runs.
Northmont boosted its lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the third inning. Hoover led off and reached first base on a Fairmont fielding error. Erin Mangen singled to left center to advance Hoover to third. Mangen stole second and Hoover scored on a ground out to third by Fiedler. Woods got an infield single to score Mangen. Lizzie and Emily Ritchie drew back-to-back walks to load the bases but Wilhelm struck out Cassy Lewis to end the inning.
The Lady Bolts added two more runs in the fifth inning. Erin Mangen drew a walk to start the inning and Fiedler got hit by a pitch. Woods got an infield hit to load the bases and Lizzie Ritchie singled to center to score Mangen. Emily Ritchie followed with a single to short right field to score Fiedler and Woods got thrown out at third. A ground out by Sydney Weaver and high fly to right by Anna Mangen ended the inning but at that point Northmont had a comfortable 7-1 lead.
Woods retired Fairmont in order in the top of the sixth on a pair of ground outs to third and a fly out to center. She also retired the side in order in the top of the seventh with a strike out and back-to-back ground balls to short to end the game.
“We made decent contact but we hit a lot of easy pop ups,” said Northmont Coach Kris Mangen. “We’ve got to make better contact for sure and hit line drives. We’ve got to do a better job of putting the ball in play. Defensively we made an error in the first inning to give them a run. We have to communicate more. We have to talk to each other and anticipate what is going to happen. We definitely have some things to improve on and we are always going to be a work in progress, for sure.”
Due to weather this game was the only one Northmont will play before the team heads to Ft. Walton Beach, FL for its annual spring break sojourn to face non-conference opponents. On the trip the Lady Bolts are scheduled to play six opponents: Central Hardin, Apollo, Anderson KY, Marshall, North Laurel and Eastern high schools.
When the team returns to Ohio the Lady Bolts are scheduled to play at home on Monday, April 11 against division rival Wayne. Northmont plays at Wayne on April 12 and at Fairmont April 13 and then hosts Springboro on Friday, April 15.
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