ELLETTSVILLE – Bedford North Lawrence rallied for a thrilling win, then couldn’t hold off Roncalli’s late surge during action in the loaded Edgewood Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
The Class 4A No.13 Stars, with Brynlea Bennett blasting a go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh inning, stopped 3A No.2 Edgewood 7-5 in its morning opener, then dropped a 5-3 decision to 4A No.8 Roncalli in the afternoon clash.
Bennett’s bomb snapped a 5-5 deadlock with the Mustangs, and BNL (18-6) added a key insurance run to secure its victory in Game 1. The Stars stormed to a 3-0 advantage in Game 2 before the Rebels battled back with 3 runs in the third. Roncalli scored twice in the fifth to take the lead.
“This is the kind of weekend we needed, two strong teams, good pitching,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert said. “Our kids scrapped. With a base hit here or there, both outcomes could have been different. I’m so proud of the effort. These were the type of things we will need to do against two good teams, so it was good to test ourselves.”
Edgewood took a 2-0 lead in the opener on Loren Carter’s RBI single and Natalie Schapker’s sacrifice fly. BNL pulled even in the third on Carlee Kern’s RBI hit and Leona Morron’s bases-loaded walk.
Brylee Blackwell’s RBI double keyed a two-run fourth for the Stars, but Edgewood answered with Taylor Minnick’s lead-off homer in the fifth. Sarah Stone’s double pushed BNL to a 5-3 advantage in the sixth, but Edgewood responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame.
Bennett’s belt put the Stars in front, and BNL added another run as Morron walked, Kate Williams sacrificed, and Haley Deckard followed with a RBI single.
“That was a good win against a very good team,” Gilbert said. “They have solid hitters up and down the lineup. We knew it would be a battle. We’re fortunate enough to come out on top.”
Stone had 3 hits and 2 RBIs while Bennett and Kern collected 2 hits each. Zoe Adams went the distance and struck out 8 while giving up 11 hits and only 2 earned runs.
BNL maintained its momentum, taking the lead on Roncalli with a run in the second (Bennett singled and later scored on Williams’ ground out) and two more in the third (Averie Jones doubled and scored on Kern’s sacrifice fly, and Bennett drove in the second run with a single).
The Rebels scrambled back with a two-run homer by Amanda Prather in the third, and Roncalli took advantage of an error to pull even that same inning. The Rebels forged in front in the fifth with only one hit, manufacturing runs with a hit batter, a walk, a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice.
Roncalli ace hurler Amber Linton, a Tennessee recruit, made that lead work as she went the final 2 2/3 innings without allowing a hit and striking out 3 to earn the win.
Bennett was 2-for-3 in the second game.
“She hit the ball hard,” Gilbert said. “She definitely had a good weekend. I thought the kids did a good job of moving runners, either with a bunt or hitting the ball where we needed to hit it.”
Chloe Parks had 3 hits for the Rebels.
BNL will return to action on Monday at Martinsville.