MILLVILLE, N.J. — All the North Olympic 16-U fastpitch team needed was some rest . . . and a couple of big hits.
After a day off following a two-day cross-country journey and a 2-1 loss to Wausau, Wis., North Olympic earned its first victory at the Babe Ruth Softball 16 & Under World Series since 2003 with a 4-3 win over Tom’s River, N.J., on Monday.
During the previous two years at the World Series, North Olympic went a combined 0-8 following a 1-3 finish in ’03.
“We came here and lost a heartbreaker,” North Olympic coach Warren Stevens said of Saturday morning’s loss to Wausau.
“We finally got some rest, and the girls were loose and ready to go. I just hope we can keep it going.”
Behind the big bats of Sequim’s Chantal Hughes-Gardner and Yolanda Chinn — both with solo homers — North Olympic put itself in position to advance to the single-elimination for the first time since ’02.
Hughes-Gardner came through with the game-clinching homer in the top of seventh, although nobody knew it at the time.
Down 0-2 in the count, the Sequim shortstop fouled off a couple of pitches before belting a high fastball over the left-center field wall to put North Olympic ahead 4-1.Tom’s River rallied with a couple of runs in the bottom half of the inning to get within a run before Sequim pitcher Carly Swingle induced a flyout to end the game with a runner standing on first base.