Sports

3 home runs from Norris power Fairfield

Trojan sophomore equals last's season total in one night

Washington’s Cara Linnenkamp applies the tag as Coty Engle slides safely underneath it during Thursday’s Southeast Conference doubleheader at Washington, which Fairfield won 8-1 and 16-4. (Doug Brenneman/The Union)
Washington’s Cara Linnenkamp applies the tag as Coty Engle slides safely underneath it during Thursday’s Southeast Conference doubleheader at Washington, which Fairfield won 8-1 and 16-4. (Doug Brenneman/The Union)
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WASHINGTON — Jenna Norris has hit home runs before and the Fairfield High School sophomore knows not to try to hit a homer if one is going to succeed at it.

Norris connected on a solo shot in the 8-1 opening win of a Southeast Conference softball doubleheader over Washington Thursday, then smacked a two-run shot and a three-run dinger in the 16-4 second game win.

Norris had three home runs in all of last season and equaled that total in one night.

“I don’t even remember what the pitches were,” Norris said. “I know it was a good pitch so I took advantage of it”

Connecting on a home run gave her more confidence at the plate.

“Well a little more, but I knew I had to stay focused and just try to get a base hit,” she said. By not wanting to hit another home run, “It happened.”

Norris, who bats in the No. 6 position, was a combined 4-for-8 with six runs batted in. Brynley Allison batted in the No. 9 slot the second game and went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice. Coty Engle, who pitched the second game went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Danielle Breen also hit a solo home run.

“We told Jenna it’s OK to hit three home runs in a night, but just keep in mind if you try to, it’s not going to happen,” Fairfield head coach Bob Bradfield said. “All of my players have heard that from me many times before.”

Shaylin Drish led off the first game with a walk, advanced on Engle’s single and scored on a Hannah Simpson single. Engle would score on a wild pitch for all the runs the Trojans would need. Allison Rebling got the win with 10 strikeouts, two hits and three walks allowed.

The Demons scored in the seventh when Alexa Mitchell batted in a run.

“Rebling is extremely good in the circle but I feel like we did not beat ourselves,” WHS head coach Ben Obermann said. “We felt confident if we could carry over our defensive effort from the first game, we’d be OK in the second game.”

The second game was close, tied at 2-2 when a pop-up was dropped with two outs in the third inning. Norris then stepped up and made it a 4-2 game.

Washington answered with a run and a possible tying run was out at the plate with a great throw from right field by Allison. The Trojans then added a run in the fourth, three in the sixth and eight in the seventh.

“We just did not play good enough defense,” Obermann said. “You can’t give a good team like Fairfield, who is hot right now, four or five outs in an inning. If we don’t have a miscommunication on a pop-up, then that girl doesn’t get to bat to hit a home run.”

Fairfield showed good base running skills, often getting an extra base on throws in from the outfield.

“Our infield has been playing very very well, probably the best infield that I have had,” Bradfield said.

“In the beginning of the games, we thought it would be a little closer, but we figured out their pitchers and how to hit them,” Norris said. “Our bats just took over and blew it up.”