Newberry Pitcher Maddie at the Home Opener

Newberry Softball Wins Home Opener Against North Marion

On Thursday night the Newberry softball team had their home opener against North Marion. After coming off to a slow start, Newberry had strong fourth inning at bats that lead to the outstanding shift in scoring. Two underclassman hit their first out of the park home runs. The final score was 18-10.

“Enjoying the rest of the night, coming out tomorrow with throwing strikes, having good defense and good at bats.” – Head coach Edward Johnson

Newberry Softball Home Opener

The bleachers were filled with cheerful parents for Newberry’s first home game of the year. The girls were ecstatic coming off of a win two nights prior against Bronson High. Taking the lead in the first inning 2-1.

Start of the second inning, North Marion took initiative offensively. Baserunners took advantage of any opportunity with passed balls in the batters box. The consistent steals from base to base allowed for North Marion to take the lead 4-2.  Although, Newberry moved forward at the bottom of the inning to tie the score 4-4.

Explosive Fourth Inning

At the top of the fourth, North Marion got off to a hot start. The first three batters each made it on base with line drive hits. With bases loaded and three walks back to back, Johnson made the decision to change pitchers. Sophomore Madison Krecker stepped up to the mound to close out the inning. The scoreboard read 8-4.

Now trailing by four, the Panthers came out at bat with confidence. The starters began to adjust to the pitches, being smart in the batters box. First at bat started it off with a soft bunt down first and a 2nd base steal. Following along, the next three batters made it on base hitting in the outfield gaps and hard line drives. In just the first few plays, Newberry brought the score 8-6. North Marion could not find an out.

With two runners on base, junior Natreana hit a deep ball out in center field right over the fence. Newberry now took the lead 12-8. This out of the park home run not only brought high energy in the stands but between the players in the dugout as well. It began to show as the Panthers continued to play with confidence, making plays defensively and having strong at bats.

Outstanding Players

Two of Newberry’s underclassman showed out Thursday Night with out of the park Homeruns. Sophomore Malana Kennard hit her first homer out in deep right field at the bottom of the 2nd inning. In the bottom of the fourth, junior Natreana Akanni hit a deep ball out in center field, bouncing at the top of the fence right over. Her first ever career homerun.

Seniors Paige Bankston and Danielle Oliviera both had a 0.600 batting average. As for fielding, third baseman Hollie Pabst stood out in infield with five assists and multiple put outs as no ball could get past her.

Final Thoughts

Between infield and outfield, each player assisted one another in finding the out and making the play. Not a single ball got past Newberry’s third baseman and shortstop as they made every throw to first, getting the out. The 7th inning closed out with a strike out by pitcher Madison Krecker.

On Friday, February 24, the Newberry Panthers will take on Saint Francis Catholic at 4:00.  The Panthers current record stands 2-0.

Newberry Softball Head Coach Edward Johnson Interview

About Hailey Hurst

Hailey Hurst is a second-year journalism major with a sports media focus. She is aspiring for a career in sports media writing/production. Contact her at

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