If you ask a high school coach what are his or her goals for the season, 90 percent will tick off a quick list in order; win the division, win the region, win the state championship.
Coach Mike Horton and the Lady Jaguars of Northwest can put a check next to the first entry on that list as they have clinched the division title with a shutout win over Einstein on Monday afternoon.
That Lady Jags won their fifth straight as they beat the Titans 10-0 in five innings. Junior pitcher Ellie Smethurst notched nine strikeouts, allowed just three hits, and no walks in five innings to lead the Jags to their second straight shutout. Northwest defeated Clarksburg 3-0 on Friday.
After Smethurst struck out the side in the first, allowing just a base hit, the Lady Jags came out swinging in the bottom of the inning. Junior Alexis Mack led off with a triple into the left field corner. She was knocked home, by the next batter, sophomore Chloe Hickman hit double to left to put the Jags up 1-0. Hickman would come home when the next batter, senior Bridgette Barbour sent another ball into left for a double. The Jags would end the first up 3-0 as sophomore Karlie Sandford would walk and eventually score before the inning ended.
The Lady Jags would score once in the second inning as sophomore Megan Sheelor knocked a lead-off single and was moved around the bases after two Northwest batters got hit by pitches and two more hit into sacrifices to bring Sheelor home. Northwest led 4-0 after two innings.
Northwest would blow things open in the bottom of the third inning as seniors Sydney Salgado and Katherine McCutcheon, along with junior Smethurst hit three straight doubles to begin the inning. The Lady Jags would score six in the third to take 10-0 lead. They would hold that lead into the fifth inning.
The Lady Jags have allowed just two runs over their last four games. Coach Mike Horton said his team is motivated by a desire to be competitive. “The grit of this team comes from their practice habits and the determination to do well. Not only do they want to be great, but they are also highly competitive. The seniors also want to leave a legacy of a winning tradition at NWHS,” said Horton.
The 8-1 Northwest ladies will travel to play 2-6 Kennedy on Thursday and will be on the road again next Tuesday as they play 10-1 Blake.
Top: Junior Ellie Smethurst (28) at the plate during Monday’s 10-0 victory over Einstein. The Jags clinched the division title with the win.
Next: Junior Alexis Mack (00) started the game with a lead-off triple for the Lady Jags.
Next: Alexis Mack (00) slides into home plate as Northwest increases their lead. The Lady Jags have one five straight games.
Next: Sophomore Kaylan King (12) catches in the late innings of Monday’s game.
Photos by Mark Poetker for Germantown Pulse.