With dark storm clouds overhead and unforgiving winds rattling the chain links and fans alike, the Eagles came out early and showed why the words "sectional title" are on the lips of South Putnam fans.
After watching their first two batters go down, South needed to put runs on the board and two batters later they came.
With Oceaia Boetjer sitting on second, starting pitcher Brooke Boetjer took to the plate. With two strikes, the Eagle freshman sent a shot down the left field line and watched as it curled around the foul pole, giving South a 2-0 edge. It would be all they needed.
South Putnam steadily built its lead, scoring six runs over the next three innings to hold an 8-0 advantage going into the fifth inning.
Katelynn Sibbitt began the inning and reached on a single. The Eagles had been aggressive all evening and when Sarah Burnham smacked a double to center field, it proved too tempting for South Putnam head coach Chris Jones.
As Sibbitt came roaring into third, Jones motioned her home, but she was gunned down at the plate for the inning's first out.
Following the game, Jones commented that he was disappointed, because he cost his team a run.
With Burnham on second, Jenny and Jessica Thompson reached to load the bases. The Eagles stood two runs from reaching 10 runs and possibly ending the game. Krystal Welch answered the call.
The left-handed Welch stepped into the box and built a count of two ball and two strikes, before connecting. She rocketed a shot that careened off the fence in left-center field, collecting three RBIs and putting the Eagles' in a position to close out the game early.
Emily Dabkowski brought her home from third base, taking the score to 12-0 in favor of the Eagles.
The Cougars knew the task before them and didn't waste any time getting to it.
Carlye McGaughey hit a single to get on base, but was thrown out as Elsiana Crosby reached first base. Cougar starting pitcher Lauren Green popped a high flyball to short stop Oceaia Boetjer. Boetjer was able to catch the ball for the second out and gun down Crosby as she tried to get back to first to close out the game.
For the Eagles, Welch was 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs, with Jenny Thompson and Burnham going 2-for-3 with a double each. Brooke Boetjer was 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
Boetjer pitched five innings, collected seven strikeouts on five hits and no walks. Her counterpart Green tossed five innings, giving up one walk, 12 hits and collecting four strikeouts.
The Cougars and Eagles will face off today at South Putnam beginning at 5 p.m.
At North Putnam
South Putnam 212 34 -- 12 12 0
North Putnam 000 00 -- 0 4 4
WP -- Boetjer
LP -- Green
HR -- Boetjer (SP)
3B -- Welch (SP)
2B -- Jen. Thompson, Burnham (SP)
Next game -- The Cougars and Eagles will face off today at South Putnam beginning at 5 p.m.