Sports
Kennedy's single sends Lady Norse to softball finals

By Eric Christiansen

Kyra Kennedy saved her best for last.

It took 11 innings and a 6-6 effort from Kennedy, including the game-winning walk-off single, but the Northfield softball team is heading to the Class 1A state championship game.

The Norse came from behind against Cowan in the Frankfort Semi-State championship game Saturday night, June 5, to pull out a thrilling 3-2 win.

After 3 1/2 scoreless extra innings, with the scored tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Northfield got hot when they needed to.

With one out, Addy Rosen singled on a line drive to right field. Back-to-back walks form Addi Baker and Jenna Krom loaded the bases for Kennedy.

With five hits already in the book, Kennedy hit a dribbler past Cowan pitcher Tatum Ricker, just wide enough to bring home Rosen for the winning run and the semi-state championship.

“This is a huge accomplishment for the seniors because they’ve worked so hard,” Kennedy said after the game. “I’m very proud of this team.”

Kennedy drove in Northfield’s other two runs, one in the fifth on a single to cut Cowan’s lead to 2-1, and  the other in more dramatic fashion.

In the bottom of the seventh and potential final inning, Northfield was down to its last out.

Jenna Krom drew a walk to extend the inning. Kennedy tied the game on a double that allowed Krom to score and send the game into extra innings.

Cowan was in position to take a lead in the top of the 10th inning with runners on second and third with one out, but Northfield pitcher Abigail Hunter drew two pop outs to end the threat.

“I’m very happy for our team,” senior Addi Baker said. “We’ve worked hard to get to this point.”

With the exception of Kennedy’s six-hit performance, hits were hard to come by for the Norse with Baker, Crysta Kowalszuk, and Rosen each picking up a hit.

Hunter gave up two runs on 12 hits but made up for the hits by striking out 15 Cowan batters on the night.

“I’m very proud of the girls and how far they’ve come as a team,” Northfield head coach Brandon Baker said. “We’ve been able to turn it on at the right time.”

Semifinal

The Norse advanced to the championship game by defeating South Central 5-3 in the semifinal game earlier in the day.

Much like the championship game, Northfield fell behind 2-0 early on before tying the game at 2-2 in the of the third.

With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Baker singled to score Ainsley Dale to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Norse tied the game in the third inning when Rosen singled to score Kennedy.

South Central regained the lead at 3-2 with a run in the top of the fourth inning before Northfield scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-3 lead.

That was all Hunter needed as she and the Norse defense put down the last six South Central batters to clinch the win.

Hunter got the win on the mound, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out five batters.

Kennedy went 3-4 at the plate, while Rosen and Kenzie Baer were both 2-3 with two RBIs each.

Baker was 1-3 with one RBI, while Krom, Dale, and Ella Hunter each had one hit.

Northfield will not only play in its first state championship game but the program had never won a sectional until this postseason.

“We set the goal at the beginning of the year to win sectional,”  Coach Baker said. “Once we accomplished that, we’re just raising the bar. They’re making great memories and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Northfield (19-9)  will face Clay City (22-6) in the Class A State Championship game Friday, June 11, at 5:30 p.m. at Center Grove Elementary School, 2455 S. Morganstown Road in Greenwood.

Admission is $12 per person with all tickets sales digital only beginning Wednesday, June 9 at 4 p.m. via GoFan.co
No cash or credit card sales at the gate.

Posted on 2021 Jun 08