Southsider Voice correspondent
High school softball and baseball bats finally move into full swing on the diamonds this week after early season interruptions due to chilly weather and spring break.
The six ranked Southside softball teams in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association preseason polls are in action this week, with two of them involved in showdowns.
In Class 4A, No. 11 Greenwood and standout pitcher Brittany Gray, a University of Georgia recruit, face Mooresville on the road in a Mid-State Conference matchup at 5:30 p.m. today. A big test for the Woodmen comes Friday at 5 p.m. when venturing to Center Grove to take on nonconference foe and the No. 7 Trojans. Perry Meridian, ranked No. 31, meets visiting No. 20 Plainfield at Holder Field, adjacent to Mary Bryan Elementary, at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Other key games find No. 6 Franklin Central at Martinsville at 11 a.m. Saturday. Manual goes to Triton Central at 5 p.m. Monday.
On Tuesday, Southport returns to Holder Field after four straight road games to face 4A No. 10 Roncalli at 6 p.m. On April 16 the Rebels visit Beech Grove, and Cathedral travels to Class A No. 2 Lutheran; both games start at 5 p.m.
Southport jumped to a fast start this season by defeating Brownsburg 9-5 March 24 as freshman Alexis Pendelton drove in three runs and senior Dabney Skutt knocked in two. Winning pitcher Brooke Lightfoot gave up only one earned run in four innings.
Cathedral upended Southport 13-7 March 27 on a third-inning eight-run explosion. Shelby Hunt drove in three runs for the Cardinals.
On the baseball diamond, former Center Grove coach Dave Gandolph returns to the Southside Tuesday as Scecina’s new mentor. The Crusaders, ranked No. 3 among 2A teams by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association, visit Franklin Central at 5 p.m. in a game that will test the Flashes’ depth.
Greenwood, an underdog this season in the Mid-State, faces cofavorite Martinsville in back-to-back league games next week.
This week’s key contests: today – Beech Grove at Manual, 5 p.m.; Mooresville at Greenwood, 5 p.m. Thursday – Lutheran at Greenwood Christian Academy, 5 p.m. Saturday – Zionsville at Center Grove, 10 a.m.; Perry Meridian at Lutheran, 1 p.m. Tuesday – Scecina at Franklin Central, 5 p.m.; Greenwood at Martinsville, 5:30 p.m.; Roncalli vs. Southport at Holder Field, 5:45 p.m. April 16 – Martinsville at Greenwood, 5:30 p.m.; Franklin vs. Perry Meridian at Holder Field, 5 p.m.
Southport opened its season with an impressive 7-2 win over Chatard as Wyatt Collum went six innings on the mound and gave up one earned run and six hits. Jalen Williams slammed three hits, and Antonio Cortez drove in three teammates.
None of the 10 Southside baseball teams are ranked, although that could change within a few weeks.
Former Trojan moves on to Indiana Wesleyan
Former Center Grove basketball standout Jonny Marlin will continue his collegiate basketball career at Indiana Wesleyan University. Marlin recently announced that he was leaving the Indiana University basketball team, where he played 13 games last season as a walk-on. The 5-10 guard began his collegiate career at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne in 2011, averaging 4.3 points and 3.5 assists.
IWU is the defending NAIA Division II national champions. Marlin, who moves from the NCAA and has two years of eligibility remaining, can begin playing this fall.