North opens the postseason on Wednesday with a home game against Euclid and the Rangers will do so with plenty of momentum after a 9-0 victory at Kenston on Tuesday extended the team’s winning streak to three games.
The Rangers scored nine runs on just six hits with a strong pitching performance out of Kirsten Luksic.
“Luksic hit her spots very well today,” said North coach Taylor Braddock. “She was moving the ball in and out nicely. Our defense was our main focus all year and the girls are really focused on making the routine plays.”
With the win, the Ranger improved to 8-8 overall and reached the .500 mark for the first time.
“The season started off rough playing the tough competition we weren’t ready for but the girls bounced back and bought into the process and it’s showing,” Braddock said. “We’re looking forward to the playoffs starting and I’m hoping the girls reach that peak they’re climbing towards against Euclid and then hopefully Thursday.
Samantha Pirosko and Lexie Genter led the way offensively for the Rangers as they each collected two hits. Val Arnold and Ashlee Kronik also had hits and Luksic and Adri George both knocked in two runs.
Luksic drew a bases-loaded walk in the first to score one run and hit a ground ball in the fourth to score another.
“When there are runners in scoring position, it’s our team mentality to put the ball in play,” she said. “It’s always a great feeling driving runs in. We got the win today, which puts the team in a positive mood to start playoffs tomorrow.”
Luksic allowed just four hits and struck out five in picking up her first shutout of the season.
“My fastball was working really well today,” she said. “During warmups, I felt very confident in it. I was able to locate it really well during the game. The defense as a whole played well; solid when we needed to be.”