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Softball Has Strong Season Despite Not Reaching Some of Their Goals

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Softball Has Strong Season Despite Not Reaching Some of Their Goals

The Knights celebrate a home run vs. Troy on 9/12.

The Knights celebrate a home run vs. Troy on 9/12.

Credit to Kamryn Bell

The Knights celebrate a home run vs. Troy on 9/12.

Credit to Kamryn Bell

Credit to Kamryn Bell

The Knights celebrate a home run vs. Troy on 9/12.

By Dominic Hoscher, FHNGameday.com Editor

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Entering the 2017 season, the Knights varsity softball team had rather high expectations for both themselves and the team as a whole. The players not only expected to have a strong regular season, but also to go deep into the postseason. After reaching the state quarterfinals two years in a row, the Knights wanted not just to make it a third consecutive year of getting to this round, but to advance past it as well.

The question was, however, could the team accomplish this?

“Our team goal was to win the quarterfinals, which we ended up falling short of,” senior Sahaura Pauley said. “But overall, the season went pretty well for the team. We had our ups and downs.”

Referring to 2017 as an up and down year is the most accurate way of describing the season for the Knights. They were able to finish the regular season with a record of 10-12, which gave the squad the number one seed in the District 5 tournament. After stand-out wins over Parkway North and Central, Howell North won their third straight District 5 championship. The team came into their Sectionals championship game against the Hazelwood West Wildcats soaring with confidence, and they did not show any lack of said confidence. The Knights were able to defeat the Wildcats 7-3 behind a stellar performance on the mound by Elizabeth Davis, giving up a mere three runs in the game.

The win over Hazelwood West was North’s fifth straight in total, dating back to their senior night win vs. Fort Zumwalt West on Sept. 26. Their previous long winning streak? Two, back in early September.

“It was a great run to close out the season where everything came together,” coach Mike Freedline said. “Our team was able to play tough defense, and the pitching was strong as well.”

In order to keep their special run going, the Knights had to do something they were incapable of managing earlier in the season: to beat Francis Howell. The two teams met in the State quarterfinals, and similar to the previous results, the Vikings once again were able to come out on top over the Knights by a score of 12-2 and secured a spot in the State semifinals. The loss dropped North to a final record of 13-13, a slight drop-off from the ‘16 season that saw FHN go 15-8.

While the season may not have gone exactly how the team may have wanted it to go, the Knights still had a strong year individually. Senior Janae Watkins, who had a batting average of .296, was named to the GAC South All-Conference first team. Junior Julia Hanan was joined by seniors Sahaura Pauley and Skylar Ruiz on the All-Conference second team.

Reflecting on the season as a whole, some of the players felt they were able to gain more from this season than some of the past.

“After a loss, we were able to come back the next time out playing harder and not thinking that a single team is impossible to beat,” senior Aleah Schott said.

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About the Writer
Dominic Hoscher, FHNGameday Editor

Senior Dominic Hoscher has been on the FHN publication staff for one full year. Hoscher joined when he was a junior and is now finishing his senior year...

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