ST. PETERSBURG — Even without Katheryn Brown in the lineup, Northside Christian can hit the ball as well as any team in Pinellas County.
Evangelical Christian found out the hard way in an 11-1, five-inning loss in Tuesday's Class 2A region quarterfinals.
Brown, who injured her right knee in the Mustangs' regular-season finale against Canterbury, was one of the county's top hitters all season. Northside coach John Anderson said it's likely Brown will miss the rest of the season, but against Evangelical Christian, her absence didn't matter.
Every batter in the Mustangs' lineup recorded a hit.
"We can hit," Anderson said. "That's been our strong suit all year long. We really can score some runs."
The Mustangs (23-2) scored five runs in the first inning. Jessica Anderson laced a triple to left-centerfield to score a run, and Megan Tozour singled home two more runs to give Northside a big advantage. Tozour, a seventh-grader, went 3-for-3.
"Since we put her in the lineup, all she does is hit," Anderson said. "…She's a play maker. She's been a pleasant surprise."
Northside scored four more in the third to end any suspense. Kayla Turner singled home the Mustangs' sixth run, Anderson followed with a two-RBI single, and Tiffany Boyer blooped a single to score one more.
Anderson didn't give up a hit in the five-inning affair, but walked three and hit three batters. In the top of the fifth, the Sentinels (15-8) brought their lone run across the plate when Sydney Etheridge was hit by Anderson to open the inning, then scored on two Northside errors to extend the game another half inning.
Lindsey Tozour promptly ended it for Northside by singling with the bases loaded.
"You can go down the list of people that have helped us win this year," Anderson said "We've been very, very lucky. Hopefully we can keep going."