With the last week of the regular season under way, Northside’s softball team was seeking a confidence boost.
The Lady Bears got it, as they scored seven runs in the first three innings en route to holding off Alma, 7-5, in nonconference action Monday.
"Their confidence level was high coming in, they were hungry for one," Northside coach Kelly Crane said. "This is the last week before state and they wanted to go out with a bang, especially the seniors. I’ve got four seniors this year and they’ve wanted this last week to be memorable, so they really (came through) and played their hardest."
Northside (10-10) got on the board in the first inning on an RBI single by Da’nija Williams. The Lady Bears then added four more runs in the second for a 5-0 lead, highlighted by a two-run single by Aliyah Hall.
Alma (10-13) got on the board with two runs in the top of the third, but Northside responded with two of its own in the bottom half of the third to go back up by five runs, 7-2.
The Airedalettes stayed within striking distance, eventually cutting the Lady Bears’ lead to two runs when Alexys Criswell hit a solo home run to center with one out in the top of the seventh. Alma then singled off of Northside pitcher Kira Shepard, but the next batter hit a line drive right to Shepard, who then threw to first to double off the runner, ending the game.
Northside also turned double plays in the second and sixth innings.
"We left a lot of people on base," Alma coach Charla Parrish said. "We had a couple of double plays, line drives, that got us out of innings. … We had one bad inning where we let them score four runs and that’s kind of been our downfall this year, we’ve given up one bad inning and it usually costs us the game."
Hall went 3-for-4 for Northside with three RBIs, adding an RBI single in the third to go with her two-run hit in the second. Shepard, Williams and Jaynee Alston had two-hit games as well.
For Alma, Charley Wilbourn, Hailey Ostrander, Taylor Thornbrugh, Cierra Rainwater and Alora Perry each had two-hit games. Wilbourn had a pair of doubles, one coming in the third which produced an RBI.