The Center Grove softball team was not in the mood for drama Monday night.
So the Trojans put up seven first-inning runs, coasting to a 12-0 win against Franklin in their Class 4A sectional opener.
“You’ve got to be happy with them coming out with fire in their eyes,” Center Grove coach Russ Milligan said, “and I pray they do that every time — you’ve got to win them all.”
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The young Grizzly Cubs end their season at 5-21.
After Hanna Burris started Center Grove’s first inning with a base hit and Piper Belden reached on an error, Jordyn Rudd took the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence for her 14th home run of the season. There wasn’t a whole lot of science behind it, Rudd said.
“I really liked it, so I hit it,” she stated. “That’s pretty much it. If I like ’em, I hit ‘em.”
Jessica Lupinetti and Burris added RBI singles later in the inning, and two more runs came in on wild pitches as the Trojans built themselves a 7-0 cushion.
Center Grove then finished the job in the bottom of the fourth. Rudd led off with a base hit, and Abby Herbst followed with a double that scored courtesy runner Lauren Wackerly. Another courtesy runner, Jillian Ransdell, scored on an error to make it 9-0, and Tyler LeMasters delivered the decisive blow with a deep three-run homer to left center.
Center Grove hurler Nikki Abrams, who struck out six and walked two while allowing just one hit, nearly lost her shutout bid again in the fifth when Lindsey Abercrombie drew a one-out walk and an error put Grizzly Cubs on second and third. But a fly to shallow center and a groundout to first brought the game to an end.
The loss was a disappointment for Franklin coach Lisa Whitlow-Hill, but she was pleased that her team was able to keep the potent Trojan offense off the board for a pair of innings after the outburst in the first.
“I was proud of the girls,” she said. “We just couldn’t put hits together to get some runs ourselves.”
Note: Stories about the softball sectional games on Monday night were omitted from Tuesday’s paper due to a production error. We are publishing them today.