Mount Carmel’s focus was to score some early runs against Cabrini, and the Cubs did so in impressive fashion.

The Cubs used a five-run first inning to earn a 7-3 nondistrict softball victory at the JPRD Softball Complex on Monday afternoon.

“We’re been talking about scoring early all season,” Mount Carmel coach Jake Pierron said. “It makes it a little easier on ourselves jumping out early, but we went kind of flat after the second inning. We kept popping the ball up. We just need to keep pressing a little and hitting line drives. We played pretty well overall.”

Cabrini scored first as Karli Perque reached to open the game, and courtesy runner Alyssa Dazet scored on Christie Runnels’ single for a 1-0 lead.

But the Cubs responded.

Mount Carmel (6-2) sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning as the Cubs pounded out five extra-base hits, highlighted by sophomore Jordyn Perkins’ two-run home run, which landed in the parking lot.

Madison Ciaccio, Abby Alonzo and Madison Savarese followed with back-to-back-to-back doubles as the Cubs took a 5-1 lead.

“I think we jumped on the sticks pretty well in the first,” Perkins said. “I just saw the pitch, and I was trying to go with it. I think it worked pretty well. It definitely makes it a lot easier on (pitcher) Shelby (Wickersham) when we get up early. We’re just focused on playing good defense and scoring some runs.”

The Cubs added another run in the second, but the Crescents (5-5) cut into the lead in the third as Runnels blasted a two-run home run to cut the lead to 6-3.

Mount Carmel starter Shelby Wickersham pitched four scoreless innings from there to earn the complete-game victory. She allowed three runs on five hits while striking out six.

Junior Caleigh Foto went 3-for-3 with a double, walk and three runs to lead the offense.

Cabrini starter Perque settled in after allowing five hits in the opening inning. She finished allowing eight hits and five walks in six innings but struck out seven. Runnels drove in all three runs for the Crescents.

Cabrini coach Shannon Austin said her club, which is missing three starters because of injuries, simply needs to start faster.

“They came out swinging the bats, and you can’t play catch-up the entire game against a team like Mount Carmel,” she said. “The first inning just came back to haunt us the whole game. We have some younger kids who have stepped up in the starting lineup, and they’ve played well, so we’ll learn from today.”