After outscoring city opponents 150-0 this season, Lafayette left little doubt that it's the top softball team in Lexington.
But the No. 12 Generals aren't satisfied with being just the best team in the city.
They'd like to prove they're among the best in the state.
A 7-0 shutout victory over No. 13 North Laurel on Thursday night at Paul Laurence Dunbar helped them take a step in that direction.
"This totally is a confidence builder," senior Alyssa Oakley said. "The losses against the top-10 teams this season were hard. We were really ready to string our hits together and produce like we did tonight."
It was a good win for Lafayette and starter Emily Kinkaid, who were one night removed from a 5-1 loss at top-ranked Ballard.
With just a few days left in the season, the Generals still have games at Mercy and Owensboro Catholic, which are tied for fourth in the most recent coaches' poll.
"We've never had this tough of a schedule before, but it's going to get us prepared for post-season, we hope," Kinkaid said.
The pitcher made up for any shortcomings she may have had the night before, holding the perennially powerful Jaguars to just four hits.
"I was real proud of how they came back after last night's loss," Coach Dana Taylor said. "We came out hitting, and defense and pitching was solid. I was very pleased."
North Laurel started the game with a leadoff single, but it didn't get another until the fourth inning.
"It was a little nerve-wracking," Kinkaid said of giving up that first hit to Sidney Herrell. "I don't like giving up hits, so I tried to just bear down and focus."
Kinkaid led the Generals from the plate as well, getting three hits, including a double, and pushing in a run in the three-run sixth inning.
Lafayette was able to take advantage and score off of several key errors by North Laurel.
The Generals also got timely hitting in this game, with a run batted in for Brittany Sims, Lauren Mitchell, Lauren Brockman, Oakley and Kinkaid.
The only hitter to get more than one hit for the Jags was Gloriann Cordero, who singled in the fourth and doubled in the seventh.
Oakley said it's now or never for Lafayette, with a rough schedule through the weekend and the district tournament on the horizon next week.
"It's the end of the season. It comes down to this," she said. "It's all or nothing, time to let it all out."
North Laurel 000 000 0—0 4 6 Lafayette 121 003 x—7 10 0
Megan Baldwin and Blake Johnson. Emily Kinkaid and Alexis Hull. W—Kinkaid. L—Baldwin. 2B—Gloriann Cordero (NL); Brittany Sims (L); Kinkaid (L).
Records — Lafayette 18-8, North Laurel 17-12.