The North Platte Junior Belles defeated the Orland Park A's 4-3 on Thursday to get a split in its two games of pool play in the ASA Northern National softball tournament at the Dowhower Softball Complex.
After losing 8-0 to the Cubs Blue team from Chicago in their first game in Pool B on Wednesday, Junior Belles coach Shelly Byrn said that her team got a much-needed victory on Thursday.
"We had been on a losing streak losing our last three games with the two games in Kansas City and yesterday, so we needed to get that win," said Byrn.
But the beginning of the game against the Orland Park A's looked to be more of the same for the Belles.
The team from Orland Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, scored three runs in the first inning against Junior Belles pitcher Brittany Lawrence.
Byrn said that Lawrence had trouble throwing strikes consistently and after the first inning, the Belles turned to Kylee Griffis to carry the load on the mound.
Griffis held the A's the rest of the way but the Junior Belles still couldn't get on track at the plate. But in the bottom of the seventh, the cut the lead to 3-2 and with runners on first and second base, Megan Ruppert laced a line drive extra base hit down the foul line to score both runners and win the game for the Belles.
On Friday, the Belles will play the Plainfield Twisters to begin play in the double-elimination tournament.
The Sensations and the Express, North Platte's other two teams in the tournament both lost both games in their pool.
In Pool D, the Express lost 8-2 to the Lake County Freedom on Wednesday and 13-3 to the Plainfield Twisters on Thursday.
In Pool F, the Sensations were defeated by the Naperville Diamonds Aces 7-2 on Wednesday and 17-4 to the St. Louis Fusion.