Whiteland rallies past Franklin for narrow win

For the Daily Journal

Record aside, Whiteland junior catcher Maddy Margraf sees definite progress.

“We’re coming together as a team. It doesn’t show sometimes on the scoreboard or our record, but I think we’re pushing through and we’re getting better,” Margraf said. “We’re not ever going to settle.”

The host Warriors rallied to top Franklin 4-3 on Friday in the first round of the Johnson County Softball Tournament.

“Having this win in county is a phenomenal push to finish the season strong and go hard all the time, never stopping,” Margraf said.

The Warriors (6-17) will play Class 4A No. 3 Center Grove in a 10 a.m. semifinal today at Center Grove.

“We bounced back really well and fought through seven innings this game,” Warriors coach Katie Mitchell said. “We were down 3-1, but then one through nine we were hitting the ball and we were moving runners around when we needed to, and taking advantage of extra bases when they made mistakes in the field.”

Whiteland tied it with two runs in the fourth on three errors and a base hit. After reaching on a two-base error, Skye Scott scored the go-ahead run on Delanie Gourley’s bunt hit and a wild throw.

Warriors freshman pitcher Delanie Gourley said she didn’t think it was one of her better outings, but Mitchell said she got the job done.

“Delanie Gourley did a nice job,” Mitchell said. “She was hitting her spots and making the hitters hit, and we were able to make defensive plays.”

Margraf contributed by throwing out two runners attempting to steal in the fifth.

“I’ve been working on it,” Margraf said. “We’ve all been focusing on our defense, no errors and fixing our mistakes. We’re working on plays that we need to make.”

The Warriors had split the previous two games this season with the Grizzly Cubs, whose record dropped to to 4-18.

“It’s always good to beat Franklin, especially in County,” Mitchell said of the Mid-State Conference rival. “Franklin did a good job, but we were just able to push more runs across.”

Spotty defense was the difference, Franklin coach Lisa Whitlow-Hill said.

“We committed three errors in one inning and that just hurt us,” Whitlow-Hill said. “We had (seven) hits but we had five errors. Rilee King did a great job of pitching, hitting and defense.”

King, a junior, contributed two hits for Franklin.

The Grizzly Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a single by Emma Rutan and an error. Whiteland tied it in the second inning before Franklin took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth on three hits, including a two-run single by Haley Hull.

Author photo
Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.