North Lenoir searches for success in 2019 softball season
North Lenoir’s Lark Collins prepares to throw a pitch Wednesday against Washington. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
LA GRANGE — This isn’t last year’s North Lenoir softball team.
Despite a 17-2 setback to Washington Wednesday to snap a two-game winning streak, the Hawks sit at 2-3 this season, a far cry from the 1-15 2018 campaign. North Lenoir blew out Spring Creek 19-0 on March 7 before defeating West Craven on the road a day before the matchup with the undefeated Pam Pack (4-0).
First-year coach Ashley Heath said the team has the ability to have a strong 2019.
“The girls were definitely excited about the Spring Creek game, and then played well against West Craven,” Heath said. “Against Washington, we were able to battle for a while, but then they got off to a big inning and they took over.
“We’re still a young team with only one senior, and we’re still learning to come together. We’ve definitely got the skills — we just need to work more.”
Washington went undefeated in Eastern Carolina Conference play during its first year in 2018, shutting out North Lenoir by a combined 31-0. In Wednesday’s game, the Hawks’ Lark Collins and Pam Pack’s Abbi Tucker kept the game scoreless until Washington scored six in the fourth. The Pam Pack went up 9-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, but Mary Jane Davenport hit an RBI double in the frame, followed by a Collins single to bring her home.
Davenport said she has seen tremendous changes from last season.
“We’ve played well as a team and hopefully we can continue working well,” Davenport said. “We’re playing to win and we just want to keep the confidence up.”
Collins, who has taken over pitching duties for North Lenoir said she can feel great vibes.
“There’s a lot of energy here and we have each other’s back,” Collins said. “We feel like we can win even more and hopefully have a great season.”
North Lenoir hosts Greene Central Tuesday before a pair of nonconference contests, facing C.B. Aycock at home March 20 and traveling to Southern Wayne the following day.