The Northwestern Trojans used a solid pitching performance, timely hitting and a sound defensive effort to defeat the South Pointe Stallions 5-0 in a nonregion game at South Pointe on Wednesday afternoon.
Isabel Shellnut tossed a complete game to pick up her first career varsity win. She allowed only two hits, struck out four and walked only two.
Catcher Rachel Marion led the nine-hit Trojans’ offense with a home run, a double and drove in a pair of runs.
Marion’s two-run home run in the second gave Northwestern a 2-0 lead. The Trojans added two more in the fourth to break it open and used Cassie Wanchek’s run-scoring single in the seventh to tack on an insurance run.
“We got a complete game today,” said Northwestern head coach Bryan Smith. “We hit the ball well, ran the bases well, and played outstanding defense.”
Those three things and Shellnut’s dominating performance on the mound made the difference.
“Shellnut is just an eighth-grader,” said Smith. “She had good command of her pitches today, and kept the ball down. She stayed ahead in the count, and let the defense make plays behind her.”
South Pointe head coach Ryan Morrison felt like his team continues to improve despite the loss.
“Northwestern is a good team,” said Morrison. “I see us getting better every time we play. You have to give credit today to Northwestern.”
With Northwestern leading 2-0 after three innings, and both pitchers doing well, the Trojans added two runs in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.
Annie Green singled to open the frame and scored on a double to left by Bre Chambers. Shellnut helped her own cause later in the inning with a double that plated Chambers.
Northwestern played errorless ball in the field, and the Trojans’ defense made three outstanding plays to take away hits from the Stallions.
Green made two running catches in centerfield, and second baseman Daina Chase went in the hole and made a diving stop and made the throw to first to take away another hit.
“Both Green and Chase are seniors,” said Smith. “They have always been excellent defensive players.”
Marion led the offense for Northwestern. She was the only player on both teams with more than two hits.
South Pointe will host Rock Hill at 7 p.m. Thursday. Northwestern will play at Rock Hill at 7 p.m. Friday.
WP - Isabel Shellnut. LP - Jamie Rankin.
Leading hitters: Northwestern - Rachel Marion 2-4, 2 RBI, Bre Chambers 1-2, RBI, Isabel Shellnut 1-3, RBI, Cassie Wancheck 1-4, RBI; South Pointe - Kamryn Culp 1-2. 2B - Marion, Chambers, Shellnut (N).
Records: Northwestern 3-4, South Pointe 5-10