In a Panthers versus Panthers doubleheader in Hancock, Md., on April 1, the Rapp girls put two wins in the record book: 15-5 and 13-4.
After a three-game losing streak last week, coach Jamie Harris was able to celebrate a team revival. “The Lady Panthers unleashed a scoring and hitting fury to down Hancock,” he said.
The girls had much to celebrate. Behind Natalie Tupper’s “strong pitching . . . the Panther bats demolished Hancock.” Freshman Amy Cooper did some power hitting with two singles, one double, four RBIs and three runs scored. Lindie Paul racked up “a single, two doubles, two RBIs and one run, and junior Lauren Settle had two monstrous doubles with one run scored,” Harris said. The girls finished game one with 15 hits, including five doubles and six stolen bases.
In game two, “Rapp kept the hot streak going by jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead” at the end of the first inning. From there, the girls put on “a hit parade. Settle, Paul and Cooper had another multi-hit game. They had some help as Hannah Kopjanski doubled, Brittani Dodson swung three singles and scored two runs, Natalie Tupper earned two singles and two runs, and Skyler Owens added a pinch-hit RBI single.”
Once again, Natalie Tupper “dominated on the mound, picking up the win – her third of the season.” Her teammate, Caitlin Miller, “made the highlight reel with a sliding catch in right field, and Peyton Bailey made a nice throw to second from the ground to nail a Hancock runner.” The Panther bats racked up “double-digit hits” with a total of 16.
Coach Harris was ecstatic about the reclaimed momentum for the Ladies. “The girls were ready to play, and we executed things in this game that we haven’t been able to do all season. We came into the game hitting on .212 as a team, and we were able to make some good contact and get a lot of hits. Our team average will improve now.
“Defensively, what can I say about Natalie Tupper? She has stepped up for Megan Early, who’s still out with an injury, and pitched 14 dominating innings in a double header with nine strikeouts. It says a lot about her dedication to this team and her leadership. There were several innings where she only threw close to five pitches and got three outs. Also, our infield and outfield finally got on track. I am very proud of Amy Cooper who really stepped up her game in left field. She did well at the plate also.
“Our young players and our veterans are really starting to mesh and develop a great chemistry. If we can keep this rolling into our first district game, we will be in good shape.”