Freshman Olivia Augusta was one walk and a hit batsman away from perfection in leading North to a 10-0 five-inning win over visiting Brush on Thursday.
Augusta did not allow a hit and struck out eight in picking up her first career victory and first no-hitter.
“It was so awesome to see a freshman go out there and completely dominate the game,” North coach Taylor Braddock said. “Her pitches were working and even if she got behind she worked her way back into the count one pitch at a time. She had the confidence she needed to follow up a solid performance that Kirsten (Luksic) had yesterday.”
Augusta pitched in three games during North’s spring trip to Myrtle Beach. She showed flashes of brilliance in her first few outings but put it all together in her first Western Reserve Conference outing.
“Liv has given us some good pitching and even in her complete-game loss in Myrtle she kept a very good hitting team on their toes,” Braddock said. “She has so much potential and she’s only a freshman, which is exciting. Today, she focused on throwing strikes and trusting her defense.”
After retiring the Arcs in order in the first, Augusta hit the first batter she faced in the second. She then set down eight straight Arcs before yielding a leadoff walk in the fifth.
She fanned the final three batters to close out the win.
“Throwing a no-hitter was one of my goals to do this season,” Augusta said. “My defense did not give up on me and they kept my confidence up in the field and also hitting. My fastball, changeup, and my curveball were the pitches that were working the most. Pitching strikes really keeps my confidence up and also the cheering from my teammates.”
North’s offense put up four runs in the third inning to support Augusta.
Ashlee Kronik drew a leadoff walk and Madie Cicero singled. Adri George then doubled home two runs and then scored on Hailie Wilson’s double.
Wilson scored on Megan Zaleski’s single.
The Rangers added four more in the fourth when Lillian Gunton reached on an error and Kronik and George hit back-to-back singles. Jess Dodd reached on an error and scored on Wilson’s double.
North invoked the run-rule with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Augusta drew a leadoff walk and Gunton reached on an error. George then singled home both runners.
George finished the day 3-for-4 with four runs batted in.
“Adri is seeing the ball very well right now,” Braddock said. “She’s waiting for the pitch she wants, being patient and is driving the ball every at-bat. Even her outs are loud outs.”
Wilson was 2-for-2 with two doubles and a pair of RBI.
“Hailie has been swinging the bat very well,” Braddock said. “She had two solid doubles today that were almost home runs. We keep telling her, ‘five more pushups.’”
Cicero also finished the day 2-for-2 for the Rangers, who improved to 3-5 overall and 2-0 in the WRC.