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Woodmen shut down Trojans

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Greenwood topped neighboring softball rival Center Grove 3-0 on Friday, yet both head coaches were more concerned with improvement than the outcome.

“We won as a team, and I’m happy about that,” Greenwood coach Stephanie Senac said. “But there is a lot of improvement we need to make.

“We didn’t play to our potential.”

Senac was speaking mostly of the visiting Woodmen’s offense, which had plenty of chances to cross home plate more than three times even though it collected just five hits off Trojans junior pitcher Abbey Pratt. Greenwood ended up with nine runners stranded on base.

The Woodmen, who improved to 3-0 on the season, did score a run in each of the third, fifth and sixth innings.

Senior starting pitcher Brittany Gray drove in teammate Megan Overton with a solid single to left center field to give Greenwood a 1-0 lead in the third.

The visitors made it 2-0 when senior Davis Carter brought in Ryan Bauer from third base with a sacrifice fly and tallied their third and final run when senior outfielder Stephanie Smith scampered home from third on a ground-out.

Otherwise, Pratt and the Trojans’ defense did a creditable job of escaping further trouble.

What Center Grove couldn’t do was score runs against Greenwood’s pitching duo of Gray and Overton.

Gray worked the first four innings, striking out four batters and yielding three hits. Overton pitched the final three frames, posting three strikeouts and giving up a pair of hits.

The Woodmen helped themselves considerably by allowing no walks and committing no errors.

That was especially key considering Center Grove’s offense was in need of some breaks its way. The Trojans, ranked seventh in the Class 4A preseason poll, came in at 1-3.

However, Center Grove coach Russ Milligan thought his team did a good job of putting the ball in play against a pitching staff he regards as one of the best in the state.

He noted the Woodmen pitchers piled up 17 strikeouts in a recent doubleheader sweep of Mooresville. Greenwood had seven strikeouts against the Trojans.

He also liked the fight his ballclub showed in its last time up to bat. The Trojans had two hits off Overton before the Greenwood sophomore came back to finish the decision with two strikeouts.

“In the seventh, we said we’re not done yet,” said Milligan, who explained the same holds true for a team still coming together for a lot of softball still to be played.

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