Senior staff writer
Two sluggers – Southport softball player Vanessa Miller and Center Grove baseball player Mikey Wyman – are having a big impact on their teams.
Miller, a sophomore shortstop, hit a home run and a double and scored three times April 11 as the Cardinals downed Perry Meridian 8-2 in a Battle of Perry Township.
Wyman, a senior first baseman, was among four Trojans who hit homers in an 18-0 victory over Greenwood on Friday.
Leading off for the Cardinals, Miller slammed Elizabeth Ebersole’s third pitch over the left field fence for her first home run of the season. Miller later walked twice and drove in two runs with her sixth-inning double.
Miller, in an understatement, revealed that she is finally comfortable in the leadoff spot. She led off for the first half of the 2017 season but dropped to No. 2.
“I was uncomfortable last year leading off because I was the only freshman on the varsity,” Miller said. “My teammates have given me the energy to lead off; I’m excited about hitting first. This year I’ve stepped up because that’s what the team needs.”
Explaining her approach at the plate, the three-sport athlete said, “I’m just trying to put the ball in play anywhere I can get on base. I trust the batters behind me to move me around and to score me.”
The Cardinals collected five hits off Ebersole with three of them coming in the four-run fourth inning.
The Falcons (2-4) took a 2-1 lead in the second as Makiah Thomas and Ebersole got hits and were driven in by Alyssa Neace and Madison Pruitt.
Southport provided coach Scott Montgomery with his 100th career. The Cardinals also won their second consecutive Conference Indiana game and stood 4-2 overall.
On the baseball diamond, Center Grove pounded out 13 hits against Greenwood, including four homers.
Wyman’s two-run blast led a second-inning barrage that was followed by solo homers from Garett Hill and Kyle Winkler with Ryan Sauter capping the derby with a three-run blast in the fifth.
Wyman, a St. Leo University commit, hit home runs against Roncalli and Cathedral on opening day at Grand Park in Westfield.
“I usually get an off-speed pitch thrown at me on the first pitch,” he said. “But I know I will get a pitch in my zone that I can sit on. The one I hit (against Greenwood) was a fastball.
The Trojans have been up and down with a 4-4 record that includes wins against highly ranked Roncalli and Carmel.
“This win will be a boost for our confidence,” Wyman remarked. “Our offense is lighting up.”
Greenwood had only one hit each off Center Grove starting pitcher Josh Johnson and reliever Justin Tolle.