ELNORA — Senior night is always an event packed with emotion, but this was different.
The North Daviess softball team (20-7) defeated Jasper 8-4 Friday night at North Daviess on a Senior Night that meant so much to the home team.
In addition to honoring senior infielders Larynda Keith and Ashley Troutman, the Cougars honored the late Samantha Porter. Porter was killed in an auto accident Sept 29 ‹ she was a two-year member of the softball team. Porter’s mother and brother, Shane were in attendance and took part in the ceremonies before the game.
The Wildcats jumped all over the Cougars in the first inning by scoring two runs on two hits against North Daviess starting pitcher Tailon Graber. North Daviess coach Jodi Berry thought the immense emotion prior to the first pitch impacted her team’s mindset.
“I’m going to chalk it up to emotions, because losing “Po” impacted the whole team,” Berry said. “It was just bringing it up and seeing her mom here, just brought everything back.”
The North Daviess bats were silent in the first inning, but they came alive in the second. With the bases loaded and two outs, Alexis Reed hit a chopper towards Jasper shortstop Nicolette Eckert, but she misplayed the ball, allowing two runs to score. Keith followed that with an infield single to score Lora Kutch, and Graber added an RBI single to left, and the Cougars had a 4-2 lead.
“I was very pleased with the way we came out swinging the bats in the second inning,” Berry said. “We scored all those runs on two outs and that¹s huge when the bottom of our lineup is coming out and swinging in the stick.”
The Cougars added two more runs in the third on RBI singles from Reed and Keith to push the lead to 6-2.