NORTH VERNON – Bedford North Lawrence recorded its most important victory of the season, silencing Class 4A No.11 Jennings County 6-0 on Thursday afternoon.
Zoe Adams hurled a 3-hitter and blasted a home run, and the No.20 Stars (16-3, 4-1 in the Hoosier Hills Conference) exploded for 4 late runs to vanquish the Panthers (14-4, 3-2). BNL conquered a future sectional semifinal opponent and also remained in control of its own destiny in the league race.
Seymour is the lone unbeaten team (5-0) in the HHC, and the Stars will visit the Owls on May 7. BNL also has a league clash with Jeffersonville, while the Owls have a remaining test with Columbus East.
“The ball is in our court,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert said. “We still have work to do, but I like our direction the last three games.
“It keeps us alive in the conference. There are still games to be played, so it’s definitely not decided. You have to win to stay alive, so this was huge. Just a really good win.”
Adams powered the Stars in front with her solo bomb in the first. BNL took a 2-0 lead in the third as Carlee Kern singled, advanced to second on an error and scampered home on Sarah Stone’s single to right.
BNL added key insurance runs in the seventh. After Haley Deckard singled and Nicole Pokorny reached on an error, Kern cracked a double to center to chase home both runners. Adams followed with a RBI double, and Stone capped the outburst with a RBI double to right.
“We’re starting to click on all cylinders,” Gilbert said “We had some key hits. We just have a couple of weeks left, so we need to get everybody clicking.”
The Stars collected 9 hits against JC pitcher Karlee Madinger. Kern, Adams and Stone (who now has a team-high 27 RBIs) all had two hits and two RBIs, while Deckard added two hits. Kern and Adams scored twice as the top of the lineup did a lot of damage.
Adams (7-1) was brilliant in the circle, needing only 64 pitches to record the shutout. She struck out three and gave up three singles (two by JC lead off hitter Kylee Matern).
“Zoe pitched really well,” Gilbert said. “She was dealing, throwing strikes. She was moving the ball around. She really dominated. She had the hitters fooled, and our defense stepped up. We just made play after play.”
BNL second baseman Josie O’Brien snagged two line drives – one to start a double play – as the Stars won their third straight game, all by shutouts.
The Stars will host Bloomington North on Friday.