BLOOMINGTON – The hits just keep on coming.
Bedford North Lawrence set a school record for single-season hits and Ava Ratliff reached the 50-hit mark for the second straight season as the Stars, ranked No.6 in Class 4A, powered past Bloomington South 11-3 on Monday.
BNL (22-7) cranked out five doubles and did all of its scoring in the first four innings while starting a three-game road swing during the final week of the regular season with a quality win.
Aliza Jewell drove in three runs while Annie Waggoner, Braxton McCauley and Tori NIkirk had two RBIs each.
“I’m just excited for the team,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert said. “We hit the ball hard, hit the ball in the gaps. Everyone contributed. We were in attack mode. I was proud of that effort. We didn’t slow down.”
The Stars scored four in the first. McCauley drew a bases-loaded walk, Jewell popped a two-run double to left and Nikirk chased home a run with a ground out. The Panthers (12-8) came back with their three runs in the bottom of the frame against Waggoner. Kinsey Clapton stroked a two-run single and Marin Jacobs scored a run with an infield hit before Waggoner escaped more damage with three straight strikeouts.
From that point, BNL took control. Waggoner clubbed a two-run double in the second. Kendall Graves doubled and Nikirk pounced on a changeup for a RBI single in the third. McCauley added a RBI double and Jewell lofted a sacrifice fly during a four-run fourth.
Waggoner, once she adjusted to an early ultra-tight strike zone, went 5 innings and fanned 8 for the win in the circle. Jewell pitched two hitless innings in relief. The Stars also had sterling defensive plays. McCauley made a nifty, over-the-shoulder running catch in center, and Ava Ratliff snagged a foul ball near the screen and started a double play in the sixth.
Waggoner was also 2-for-4 as BNL finished with 8 hits. Klopton, who had a school-record 20 strikeouts against Linton earlier this month, lasted only 3 1/3 innings.
“We did hit the ball well, against a good team,” Gilbert said. “She was a quality pitcher. It was an all-around great game for everyone. It was really nice to see.”
The Stars set the single-season record for hits, raising their total to 304.
BNL will journey to Martinsville on Thursday.