Dorn leads Freedom to shutout win over Spartans

Freedom beat Luxemburg-Casco, 1-0, in a North Eastern Conference softball game Thursday. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

FREEDOM (WLUK) -- Payton Dorn was in mid-season form Thursday, setting down batters one after another, but despite her effort her team had nothing to show for it through four innings.

But in the fifth inning Dorn received what she needed from Grace Bolwerk. The sophomore laced a single up the middle scoring one run and that was all Dorn needed.

Dorn twirled a one-hitter, striking out nine as Freedom edged Luxemburg-Casco, 1-0, in a North Eastern Conference softball game.

"One pitch at a time," Dorn said. "If you throw a bad pitch you shake it off. You can't really think about it much otherwise it will get in your head. That's what I've always focused on."

"Payton made the pitches when she needed to," Freedom coach Mike Vander Loop said. "She battles. When you see her on the mound, you know you're in good hands. She makes all the right pitches at the right time."

Freedom (7-1, 2-0) appeared as if it would give Dorn a lead in the first inning when it loaded the bases with no outs. However, Spartans pitcher Ali Dart wiggled her way out of the jam by not allowing any runs.

However, Freedom finally got to Dart (four hits allowed) in the fifth inning, which Dorn appreciated.

"Being able to even have one run on some one is amazing because you know your ahead," Dorn said. "It just brings your spirits up."

Vander Loop said he had his hitters take a different approach in the fifth inning.

"We got into the fifth inning and talked about taking a pitch; the girls did that," Vander Loop said. "Then we got a couple girls on base. We pinch-ran for our first baseman and that paid dividends for us. That's what got us that final run."

And the only run.

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