The Center Grove softball team is accustomed to starting the season well, and this year is proving to be no exception.
By taking care of Greenwood 10-1 on Friday, the Trojans improved to 5-0 — their third straight season opening with at least five wins in a row.
Pitcher Nicole Abrams led the way for the visitors, allowing only one run to the Woodmen (1-2).
“Abrams kept everything in check,” Center Grove head coach Russ Milligan said. “She pulled it together, and that was what did it. It was a big moment and a big gut check for her.”
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Greenwood, meanwhile, had trouble silencing the Trojans’ bats, which totaled three home runs.
The Trojans took the early 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Maddie Keeley scored the first run on a Woodmen error. Tyler LeMasters followed up with a three-run home run against Greenwood pitcher Karlee Denham, bringing in Abby Herbst and Taylor Dishman.
Catcher Jordyn Rudd continued the exceptional offensive effort with her first home run of the night in the second inning, plating Hanna Burris. Rudd then slugged a solo home run in the fourth inning on her way to a 4-for-4 day at the plate.
Jessica Lupinetti drove in Dishman on a line-drive double in the second and was later knocked in by Lexi Fair. Lupinetti rounded out her strong offensive night with another RBI in the fifth inning, allowing Jillian Ransdell to come in for the 10th and final run for Center Grove.
Greenwood’s lone run came from Dominique Proctor, who scored after a pair of Trojan errors in the third inning. Kaitlyn Heffner doubled in the fifth, but overall the Woodmen were unable to do much against the power pitching duo of Abrams and reliever Brooke York.
The Trojans seem to have impressed everyone except Milligan with the win.
“We came out prepared for the season, but at the same time I’m very unsatisfied with where we’re at right now as a team,” the coach said. “We’re not preparing to beat this team; we’re preparing to not be the team that goes home in the tournament. We’re preparing to make a long state championship run.”
Center Grove looks to continue its perfect start at home against Martinsville on Monday. Greenwood will strive to bounce back Monday when it travels to Brown County.