GOLDSBORO SOFTBALL

Goldsboro batter Evelina Cronk swings at the pitch as she attempts to get on base during the Cougars’ Wednesday game against the North Johnston Panthers.

KENLY — The North Johnston Panthers defeated the Goldsboro Cougars 10-0 on Wednesday night.

Goldsboro came up to bat first in the top of the inning, but were unable to get on base. In the bottom of the inning, North Johnston batter Arial Pearce started off by hitting a triple with just one out. Emma Scott came up to bat next, and knocked her in with an RBI single. Scott then stole second base to put her in scoring position. On the next at bat, Jessica Gross hit her in with an RBI single as well.

The Cougars continued to struggle at the plate throughout the game while the Panthers continued to be able to put runners on base with ease. The Panthers also continued to steal bases to put themselves in better positions to score runs.

The Panthers scored two more runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 4-0 lead.

After a scoreless third inning, the Panthers scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 7-0 lead. They also scored three more runs in the fifth inning before the game was called due to the mercy rule.

Throughout the game, fielding errors and pitches that were left over the middle of the plate haunted the Goldsboro defense, and while they were able to get runners on base, they were never able to capitalize and score the base runners.

Goldsboro Head Coach T.J. Lancaster said that even though Shaye Heathcock gave up some hits, the amount of runs that were given up can’t all be contributed to her performance on the circle.

“Shaye (gave up hits), but our defense didn’t help her,” Lancaster said. “I mean so that hurt her, but she did her job out there up on the circle tonight.

“I’m proud of her fighting because sometimes as a pitcher when you have errors behind you, you want to get down ... but she didn’t, she stayed up, and she kept attacking.”

Lancaster also said that a big reason for the loss on Wednesday was the lack of experience by younger players.

“We had three first-year players out there starting for us tonight,” Lancaster said. “So (for some of them), it was their first start of the season.

“Their youth showed, but I think overall, though, North Johnston is a great team. I want to always play them, and they will be in the conference next year.

With the loss, the Cougars fall to 3-3 in the season in the East Central 2A Conference. The Panthers improve to 4-2 with the win.

Goldsboro will play again on Thursday when they face Wayne Christian (7-0) on the road.