Thanks in part to rain delays of the county tourney, Decatur Central ended a run of five games in four days Thursday at Martinsville with a 6-3 triumph that clinched third place in the Mid-State.
Freshman Hannah Harper and junior Ella Phillps each slammed home runs against the Artesians while pitcher Kylie Eads struck out 11 batters.
The Hawks won four games during that stretch, losing only to nationally No. 1-ranked Roncalli in the Marion County championship game May 10 on the road.
The string of games began May 9 at Ben Davis as the Hawks continued their county tourney march. Six seniors were able to enjoy their final prom May 7 after postponing their quarterfinal tourney game against Brebeuf to Monday. The Hawks won 15-1 and the right to meet Ben Davis in the tourney twin-bill that night.
Freshman pitcher Kylie Vaseloff, making just the fourth start of her varsity career, limited Brebeuf to one hit. She was backed with a 15-hit attack in the five-inning game. Vaselof struck out eight batters, reached base twice and scored two runs.
Then against the host Giants, senior pitcher Kylie Eads held Ben Davis to three hits and struck out 13 btters as the Hawks won, 11-0. One night later, they fell at Roncalli, 6-0 in the championship game.
“We wanted to give Kylie (Eads) a break,” Vaseloff said. “My fastballs, screwballs and risers were working. My teammates are really supportive. Kylie really helps me out a lot.”
Leadoff batter Jazlynn Stewart (3 for 3) and second baseman Sydney Hazelwood (4 for 4), both sophomores, enjoyed perfect days at the plate against Brebeuf.
With Eads on the mound, it was more of the same against Ben Davis. She retired the first 11 Giants and allowed only three hits. Eads hit a solo home run in the third and Alexis Garrison hit a two-run shot over the leftfield fence in the fifth two of the 14 hits banged out by the Hawks.
“It was nice, having prom and getting to play,” Eads said after facing the Giants. “My riser, screwball and fastball (worked). A lot outside, getting them to chase off the plate.”
In the doubleheader, the Hawks hit over .500 (29 for 57). Stewart finished 6-for-8, scored five runs and drove in two. Sydney Hazelwood was 5-for-6, scored three runs and drove in three. Eads was 3-for-5, scored two runs and drove in two. Laci Boggs was 4-for-8, with two runs scored and three RBI.
On May 11, the Hawks shut out Martinsville at Dick Collins Field. Eads struck out 12 and allowed only three hits. The Hawks broke open a 1-0 game with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Then the Hawks traveled to Martinsville for another win May 12 for an 8-4 league record and a 14-8 overall record and, finally, a break in the schedule.