Arabians go 3-0 at Carmel Invite, Davis becomes all-time win leader


By Brady Extin | The Times-Post

CARMEL — The trip to the Carmel Invite was historic in more ways than one for the Pendleton Heights softball team.

The Arabians went 3-0 during the weekend with wins against last season’s state champion and state runner-up and defeated an opponent that had eliminated them from the postseason the past two years.

The 3-0 weekend also made head coach Rob Davis the all-time leader in wins in school history. The third win of the weekend, a 9-7 extra-inning win versus Brownsburg, gave him win No. 275. He passed Pat Medler’s total of 274.

During the 14 seasons of the Davis era, the softball program has won seven sectional championships (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2022, and 2023), four regional titles (2011, 2013, 2022, and 2023), and has been in the IHSAA Final Four twice.

“Coach Davis will be the first to say you only win 275 games because you have had great players in your program. However, the common denominator in all of the success over 275 wins is the coach. Watching Coach Davis work is a daily reminder as to why I got involved with education-based athletics in the first place. The level of care he has for his players is constantly on display and is never compromised,” Pendleton Heights athletic director Chad Smith said in a press release. “I can say with certainty that not one time did he put getting any of the 275 wins in front of caring for his players and doing what was right for them. Coach Davis deserves this honor and place in program history. He already is a hall of fame man and he will soon be a hall of fame coach. I’m extremely proud that Coach Davis is an Arabian.”

The first win of the weekend for Davis and the No. 15 Arabians came on Friday. The team defeated No. 4 ranked Roncalli 1-0. The win was Pendleton Heights first against the Royals dating to 2013, including back-to-back semistate losses the past two seasons. The loss was Roncalli’s first of the year.

The lone run came on an Avry Miller solo home run in the fourth inning, while in the circle, senior Shelby Messer shut down the Royals.

She threw a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and two walks, while striking out six.

The next win of the weekend came over the team that defeated Roncalli in last year’s state championship — Penn.

The Arabians knocked off the No. 3 ranked Kingsmen 11-9.

Big fifth and seventh innings from the Pendleton Heights offense helped erase a pair of deficits.

After scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first, Pendleton Heights allowed Penn to bring the next six batters across the plate.

A four-run second inning put the Kingsmen ahead 5-1 and another run in the fourth made things 6-1 before the Arabians mounted their comeback.

A Miller grand slam in the fifth highlighted a five-run Pendleton Heights outburst that put them ahead 7-6, and from there the two teams traded blows.

Penn responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead 8-7. In the sixth, an Addie Nichols bunt scored Ari Rector to tie the game at eight, but a solo home run by Penn’s Logan Rumble broke the tie heading into the seventh.

The Pendleton Heights offense stayed hot with a three-run seventh inning, and Messer closed things out in the bottom of the frame for the 11-9 win.

Messer threw another complete game, allowing five earned runs on 12 hits en route to picking up her second win of the weekend.

Offensively, Miller’s grand slam led an all-around Arabians performance. Alana Smith had two RBI, Skylar Baldwin had one and Nichols had one to go along with Miller’s four.

To cap off the weekend and give Davis win No. 275 the Arabians had to go into extra innings.

A two-run first sparked by a Rector solo home run put the Arabians ahead early, and they held the lead until the seventh.

In the second the two teams traded runs, and in the third and fourth innings, the Arabians added to their lead.

A four-run bottom of the seventh by Brownsburg erased the Pendleton Heights lead and sent things into extra innings. In the ninth, the Arabians struck first with three runs and held Brownsburg to one for the 11-9 win.

With the perfect 3-0 weekend, the Arabians moved 10-4 on the season.

They honored Davis on Monday night prior to their game against Frankton, played Kokomo on Tuesday, and are back in action today at 6 p.m. on the road at Noblesville.

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