PH softball ends regular season dropping three, downing New Castle


CHARLOTTESVILLE — With the regular season coming to a close, Pendleton Heights softball lost a trio of close games to tough opponents.

The lone win during the final week leading up to the start of sectional play came over Hoosier Heritage Conference opponent New Castle, 14-0 on Tuesday. The Arabians fell to Class 3A No. 7 Yorktown on Thursday, Fishers on Friday, and to kick off the week fell to Class 2A No. 3 Eastern Hancock on Monday.

On the road, Class 4A No. 15 Pendleton Heights lost to the Royals 4-3.

On a night in which the Arabians out-hit Eastern Hancock seven to five, and had 12 batters reach base opposed to the Royals eight, timely hitting and clutch pitching by Eastern Hancock led to the one-run loss.

In the third inning, the Arabians struck first with the help of a two-out error by the Royals, but in the bottom half of the inning, a Camryn Blue single and a Brooklyn Willis hit-by-pitch set up Sammie Bolding for a go-ahead three-run blast over the centerfield fence off of Arabians starting pitcher Shelby Messer.

An inning later, two free passes allowed by Eastern Hancock starting pitcher Kenna Stewart to start the inning, followed by a pair of Pendleton Heights bunts by Avry Miller and Grace Fisher trimmed the lead to 3-2.

The Arabians crossed the plate for the third straight inning and tied the game on a Katelin Goodwin double in the fifth inning. She drove in Ari Rector, who singled and stole second base to lead off the frame.

As they did in the third, the Royals wasted no time retaking the lead, this time for good.

A one-out single by Brooklyn Willis started the rally, and later with two outs, Addisyn Trackwell singled to move Willis to third, and Lilli Ringer singled her home for the 4-3 lead.

To close things out, the Royals turned to relief pitcher Tatem Adams in the seventh.

After striking out Rector to lead off the inning, a single by Skylar Baldwin, Goodwin’s second double of the night, and an intentional walk, Adams had to work out of a bases-loaded jam.

With just one out, she struck out Alana Smith looking, and got Morgan Humble to ground out back to her in the circle.

It wasn’t the first jam the Pendleton Heights offense forced Eastern Hancock to work out of throughout the game.

In the second, Stewart struck out Fisher with runners on second and third to end the threat, in the fourth, another strikeout by Stewart stranded a runner at third, and in the fifth and sixth, Pendleton Heights runners were left on second.

Stewart allowed five hits and three runs over six innings of work. She struck out seven and walked two.

For Pendleton Heights, Messer pitched all seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out four.

At the plate, Goodwin had a pair of doubles and an RBI; Rector singled twice, stole two bases and scored a pair of runs; Smith reached base twice; Humble walked twice; Miller doubled and Fisher had an RBI bunt.

Pendleton Heights opened up sectional play on Tuesday after press time against Madison County foe, Anderson.

Semifinal games were set to take place on Wednesday, and the championship was scheduled for today at 6 p.m. at Pendleton Heights.

The top half of the bracket saw Richmond and Mt. Vernon play on Monday, with the winner matching up with Greenfield-Central in the first semifinal game on Wednesday.

The winner of the Pendleton Heights and Anderson matchup took on the winner of Class 2A No. 3 New Palestine and Muncie Central in the other semifinal.

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