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Evans pitcher Natalie Johnson celebrated senior night in style, putting together a start worthy of a milestone win for her coach.
Johnson threw a no-hitter on Thursday night to give Colette Cassedy her 500th career coaching win in an 8-0 shutout over Lakeside.
“It’s really not about me, it’s about the players and what they do and how they play,” said Cassedy, who has earned all 500 wins at Evans. “I just happen to be fortunate on the other end. They’re the ones who deserve all the credit, all my players from the past and present. I’m just in shock.”
Those players past and present congratulated Cassedy after the game, including some former players who Cassedy said she hasn’t seen in 20 years.
“It means I’ve been coaching a long time,” she said. “It’s special at one school. I’ve had great players. I’ve had good kids.”
Evans (12-6, 3-1 2A-AAAAA) also celebrated two seniors, Johnson and Alexis Schlein. Johnson held Lakeside (2-12, 1-3 2A-AAAAA) to just three baserunners in five hitless innings, all on walks. She struck out 10 batters.
“I think it’s cool to get that for coach Cassedy, because I know it means a lot to her. It feels good,” Johnson said. “I was confident. I knew my defense had my back.”
Jenna Cliatt and Brooke Buck led Evans with two hits and two RBI apiece, and Ashton Odom added two hits and an RBI.
Evans shortstop Elyssa Melton had one hit in threeat-bats, but it was a two-run home run that sparked a four-run first inning. The Lady Knights added one run in each of the second and third innings, and capped the scoring with a two-run fourth.
“We kept our poise,” Cassedy said. “We stayed a little more focused this time than last time. We had some good hard hits that went our way.”
Two of Lakeside’s three baserunners came on consecutive walks with two outs in the first, but a strikeout ended the Lady Panthers’ only threat. Johnson retired nine in a row at one point.