DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Whiteland Community High School senior pitcher Lauren Prohl didn’t get too nervous clinging to a one-run lead late.
“We all came into this game pretty confident we were going to fight,” Prohl said. “When they put runs up that just made us fight harder. It just kept us focused on what the prize was.”
The Warriors scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to give them some cushion in a 5-2 victory against Franklin in Friday’s first round of the Johnson County softball tournament at Center Grove.
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The Warriors (7-14) will face Class 4A No. 3 Center Grove, which had a first-round bye, in today’s 10 a.m. semifinals.
“Lauren’s energy on the mound really helps our defense,” Warriors coach Katie Mitchell said. “She also has very good control and a lot of movement, which keeps batters on their toes.
“She has nice off-speed pitches. She is really a leader on the mound.”
Whiteland scored one run in the first inning on Skye Scott’s run-scoring single.
The Warriors added two more in the fourth on run-scoring double by Hannah Upchurch and three fielding errors.
Shelby Taylor hit a home run for Franklin (7-14) in the top of the fifth to narrow the deficit to 3-1.
“Home runs happen,” Prohl said. “You’ve just got to shake it off and get the next (batter).”
The Grizzly Cubs closed the deficit to 3-2 on a double off the fence by Sydney Logsdon in the sixth.
Whiteland regained control by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning. Lindsey Boltz doubled and scored on senior Monica Collins’ single.
Collins then scored on a single by Skye Scott and a throwing error.
“We knew the last inning had to be our strongest inning,” said Collins, a senior center fielder. “We had to give all of our effort.”
Mitchell said it was heads-up play by Collins to score on the throwing error.
“(Collins) is aggressive on the base paths and we always love having her out there,” Mitchell said.
Franklin was retired in order in the top of the seventh by Danielle Munn, who relieved Prohl in the final inning.
“We just wanted to give the last three batters a new look,” Mitchell said.
Errors were a major factor in the loss, Franklin coach Lisa Whitlow-Hill said.
“We gave them too many extra outs, that was the story,” Whitlow-Hill said. “We didn’t hit them in when we got girls on base.”
Franklin left four runners on base while Whiteland stranded nine.
For Whiteland this will be the second meeting with Center Grove.
“We lost to them in the first game of the season but our team is totally different,” Mitchell said. “So we’re interested to see what happens.”