BY MICHAEL HELD
KENLY— North Johnston softball coach Chris Batten is looking for his team to develop a killer instinct despite its undefeated season thus far and he was still searching for it after the Panthers won the first game of the Conestoga Wood Specialties Invitational.
North Johnston jumped out to a huge lead against the Warriors but, in the end, needed to hold off a late rally.
In the championship game against Rosewood, the Panthers finally showed a hint of what Batten so desperately wants them to find as North Johnston defeated the Eagles 15-1 to win the title.
Lindsey Massengill and Jada Santiago drove in runs in the first inning, Blayke Batten plated two more in the second and Taylor Jones singled home Massengill in the third to give North Johnston, playing as the away team, the early 5-0 lead.
Rosewood’s Mackenzie Amo-deo hit a solo shot in the bottom of the third, however, to slightly tilt the momentum.
Unlike the first game, the Panthers responded with gusto, putting together an eight-run fourth inning to put the game away.
Jordyn Scott, who hit a two-run homer in the pivotal inning and was named the tournament MVP, cited her team’s chemistry as being the biggest reason for the 11-0 start to the season.
“Our team has always had really good chemistry,” said Scott. “We all work together and we all get along. We’re all very talented and we use our talent and our ability to the best we can.”
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