By Brady Extin | The Times-Post

GREENWOOD — Friday night was an early-season battle between two of the top-ranked Class 4A softball teams in the state.

And it was on a field, and against a team Pendleton Heights was more than familiar with.

At Center Grove High School, the No. 8 ranked Arabians fell to the No. 2 ranked host Trojans 7-6 on a walk-off single.

Last season, the Arabians split a pair of games with the Trojans and ended the season on the Center Grove field with a loss to Roncalli in the semistate.

The teams could meet again this weekend in the Horseshoe Classic at Pendleton Heights.

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On the road, it didn’t take long for the Pendleton Heights offense to get going.

In the first inning, senior Skylar Baldwin hit a solo home run to center, and after a Katelin Goodwin double, Morgan Humble added to the lead with an RBI single.

Center Grove scored a run of their own in the bottom of the first, but in the second inning, led by Baldwin, the Arabians offense clicked again.

Baldwin doubled the Pendleton Heights score and doubled her home run total with another bomb to center field. She scored Kiah Hubble who tripled earlier in the frame.

Baldwin finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base.

RBI by Goodwin and Ari Rector in the fourth inning pushed the Pendleton Heights lead to 6-2.

In the fifth, the Trojans answered.

Two extra-base hits sparked a four-run inning and tied things with just two innings to play. Hannah Haberstroh doubled in a pair of runs, and Riley Janda tripled in another off Pendleton Heights starting pitcher Shelby Messer.

Messer threw four innings, and allowed 10 hits and six runs while striking out two.

With no outs in the fifth and the game tied, she was relieved by Morgan Humble.

Humble worked out of the frame and closed out the rest of the game.

She allowed three hits and one run over three innings of work.

The one run came in the bottom of the seventh. Center Grove junior Sydney Herrmann smacked a walk-off single to right field to close out the game.

After scoring six runs off of starting pitcher Riley Fuhr, the Arabians struggled against the Center Grove relief pitchers.

Addy Reed allowed just one hit over 1 ⅓ innings, and Indiana State commit Riley Henson closed out the game by striking out five of the seven batters she faced.

Four Pendleton Heights batters had multi-hit games. Along with Baldwin’s two home runs, Rector, Hubble and Humble all reached base twice.

The Arabians played Shenandoah on Tuesday (after press time) and opened Hoosier Heritage Conference play against Delta on Wednesday. They are back in action Saturday at home in the Horseshoe Classic.