Arabians softball denies Royals ascent

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Kiah Hubble catches a pop fly in left field for an out.

PENDLETON — With the sectional on the horizon, the Pendleton Heights Arabian softball team picked up its 19th win of the season against the visiting Eastern Hancock 3-1 on May 16 at Legends Field.

Ranked 11th in Class 2A, the Royals came in at 15-4-1, but Eliza Findley held steady in the pitcher’s circle for the win, going the distance and allowing five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” coach Rob Davis said. “That’s why we put them on the schedule.”

Early in the game, Davis said the Arabians didn’t make the proper adjustments against Royal pitcher Emily Hodges, but once they did, the hits came.

“I’m very happy with what these girls have accomplished this year, where, we’re at. What we’re doing,” Davis said. “The close games are what’s going to happen in tournaments. There’s not going to be blowouts.”

Both teams were scoreless through three innings, but in the top of the fourth, Royal Kalee Stewart singled and then went on to score when Emma Bolding hit a double. The Royals were up 1-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kylie Fisher got the first Arabians run when she scores on a Katelin Goodwin single. The Arabians took a 2-1 lead when Khloee Gregory scored on a Brynn Libler single.

In the bottom of the sixth, Bo Shelton got the final Arabian run on a long fly ball over the center-field fence.

Despite Royal Caroline Stapelton’s 3-for-3 performance, including a triple, Eastern Hancock was unable to muster up an offense against Pendleton Heights.

For the Arabians, Libler, Gregory, Goodwin, Shelton, Caroline DeRolf and Kiah Hubble all had hits. This was Shelton’s eighth home run for the season.

In last week’s polls, the Arabians were ranked fifth in Class 4A.

“Once you get out of that sectional and get to a championship game, everyone is similar. It’s going to be a 3-1 ballgame,” Davis said. “I like the way we’re playing in those pressure situations and not making mistakes.”

There are three games remaining until sectional play begins. Pendleton Heights plays host to Yorktown on Thursday, May 19, for Senior Night, and their final regular-season game is May 20 at home against Fishers.

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