Softball IBy Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – Four home runs and two big innings rallied Harlem from an early 4-1 deficit to a 17-4 road win over Freeport last week.

The first four batters in the Lady Huskies’ lineup – three sophomores and a freshman – collected 12 base hits while scoring nine times and driving in 11 runs.

Bianca Barone had a game most leadoff batters dream about when she went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with three doubles, a home run, two RBIs and four runs scored.

She got Harlem on the board in the first inning with a double and eventually scored on a bases-loaded walk to starting and winning pitcher Elle Adams (1-for-3).

Freeport roared back with four runs in the bottom of the first. But the Lady Huskies showed their resilience by scoring four of their own in the top of the second inning and never looked back.

Barone was in the middle of that rally, but it was the No. 9 hitter in head coach Jennifer Corwin’s lineup who got it started. Caitlyn Bolding (1-for-3) singled with one out and was followed by Barone with her second double of the game.

Mackenzie Lawrence (4-for-5) doubled in two runs, thenMegen Johnson (2-for-4) ripped her first of two home runs, a two-run shot, to regain the lead at 5-4.

Double No. 3 for Barone came in the fourth inning with the long ball, Johnson’s second two-run homer of the day, a key hit . Kirstin Fudge (2-for-4) had a major contribution, a two-out single that kept the inning alive and led to a two-run double from Kayla Kampmeier (2-for-5). That produced a `10-4 and pretty much put the game away.

Still, Harlem’s offense wasn’t finished.

Olivia Penney (1-for-5) had an RBI single in the fifth, then the visitors tacked on six more runs in the sixth with two more home doing most of the damage. Barone had a two-run blast while Adams helped herself with a solo homer. Kirstin Fudge singled in a run; Bolding sacrificed in another one.

After their four-run first inning, Adams blanked the Lady Pretzels the rest of the way – with 12 strikeouts – to give Harlem its seventh consecutive win.

Earlier in the week the Lady Huskies (7-2, 5-0) used another big inning to run roughshod over Jefferson, 11-1.

A nine-run sixth broke open a tight 2-1 game and provided the victory for MadalynnFajardo. Penney paced  the offense by going 4-for-4 and driving in two runs.

This is a big week for the Lady Huskies who earlier were scheduled to take on fellow NIC-10 contenders Hononegah and Boylan. They will be home Friday (April 29) to meet Auburn, another conference opponent, for the first time this spring. Game time is 5 p.m. at the Harlem Community Center complex off Forest Hills Road.

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