The Greensburg girls softball team improved to 12-3 Thursday with an 8-3 conference win over visiting Batesville.
Lady Pirate head coach Jake Shook saw his team improve to 4-1 in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference.
The Bulldogs scored first in the top of the second, on a single and two Pirate errors.
Greensburg started its scoring with a run in the third inning. The Pirates took advantage of Bulldog mistakes, with a pair of seniors taking advantage. Audrey Geis reached on a walk and Shelby Ward reached on a Bulldog error. Geis and Ward advanced to second and third on a ground out by freshman Britney Biltz. With senior Clare Owens at the plate with a 1-1 count, according to Shook, the Bulldog catcher thought they had struck Owens out on the third pitch, and rolled the ball out to the mound. Geis took advantage of the mistake and scored on the play to tie the game. Owens reached base after being hit by the next pitch.
Greensburg began its four-run fourth when junior pitcher Alli Phillips reached on a single. Senior Channon Brown courtesy ran for Phillips, and freshman Keauna Schultz reached on a Bulldog error. Sophomore Emma Wolter came in to run for Schultz, and sophomore Chelsea Hersley singled to right field to load the bases with no out. Coming out of a Batesville timeout to regroup, Kalynne Asche executed a perfect squeeze play on the first pitch with a bunt and Brown dove head first into the plate to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Emma Wolter then scored on a single by Geis, 3-1. With bases loaded and no outs, Ward hit a ball into the left-center field gap, according to Shook, that hung up in the wind enough to allow Batesville’s left fielder to make a shoe-string catch and make a throw that caught a Pirate runner leaning too far off third. Now with two outs, and Asche at second and Geis at first, Biltz hit a ball that hit off an outfielder’s glove, which allowed both Asche and Geis to score and make it 5-1.
“The squeeze play was a big play by the sophomore and senior,” said Shook of Asche and Brown. “It was great to see them execute when the pressure was on.”
Greensburg executed a rally-killing double play, with a runner at second in the fourth, with heads-up execution by Owens and sophomore Megan Schmidt. After Schmidt threw to first to retire the batter, Owens slid in behind Schmidt to cover the base and Geis at first base threw to Owens to retire the runner trying to advance.
“The double play was another momentum boost,” said Shook.
The Bulldogs scored two runs in the fifth on three Pirate errors.
Greensburg scored its final three runs in the fifth on four singles off the bats of Schmidt, Hersley, Asche, and Ward. Schultz reached on a fielder’s choice.
Alli Phillips pitched seven innings of two-hit, no-walk softball, striking out six batters.
Geis led Greensburg with two runs. Phillips went 2-for-4 and Hersley went 2-for-3.
“It wasn’t the best defensive effort for either team tonight, but we took advantage of what they gave us,” said Shook. “We made contact from top to bottom of our lineup. Only two players didn’t get a hit in the game. We are proud of the girls for the execution of the squeeze play and turning a tough double play all in the same inning. It was a team effort and a team win last night.”
In the Lady Pirates’ 9-4 win at Franklin County Tuesday, Greensburg jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on hits by Ward, Biltz, Schmidt and Phillips.
Senior Clare Owens hit a solo home run to make it 5-0 in the third, and Biltz followed in the fifth with her own solo shot to start the inning. Schmidt singled for her third hit in the game.
The Wildcats scored three runs in the fifth.
Later, Geis singled and Ward drew a walk, setting up Biltz’s second home run that made it 9-3.
Alli Phillips pitched six innings and Whitney Tallent pitched the final inning.
Greensburg next travels to South Decatur Monday for a cross-county showdown that begins at 5 p.m.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.