By Jimbo Collins / For the Times-Tribune

North Laurel fell to 4-3 Monday, despite a great pitching effort against the number four rated softball team in Alabama.

Abby Sears pitched seven innings and allowed two-runs (none earned). Hoover, Ala. pitcher Jesse Lupardus pitched eight innings allowing two earned runs while striking out 18 batters en route to the 3-2 win.

“Abby threw a nice game for us,” North Laurel head coach Shane Weaver said. “Those two runs were unearned. We had some mental and physical breakdowns. The errors were all on routine plays. In theory, we should have won the game two to nothing.

“Hoover is the number four ranked team in Alabama,” he added. “They are 35-6 right now. We had the opportunity to pull it off. That was the disappointing part. Not much else can be said. We struck out 18 times. Their pitcher is a senior who has signed a division I scholarship, but nevertheless that was disappointing to have 18 strikeouts.”

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Lady Jaguars committed three errors to allow two unearned runs.

North Laurel was able to tie the game in the second inning behind the power of Rachel Akins. Haley Sears singled to reach base and then Akins followed with a two-run homer to tie the game at two apiece.

Hoover scored one run in the bottom of the eighth inning to escape with a 3-2 win.

“We have got the pitching that can hold us,” Weaver said. “We can put a couple of runs on the board. If we can just play defense and put all three facets of the game together we will be in good shape this year. We have got to hit. We have got to pitch. We have got to field and we can’t take any of those games for granted.”

North Laurel returns to action today against Clay-Chalkville, Ala. The game is set to begin at 3:30 pm.


Hoover 3, North Laurel 2

North Laurel 000 000 20 2 3 6

Hoover, Ala. 000 020 01 3 5 0

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