Senior staff writer
Southport pitcher Avery Short helped in taking the American flag down last week after the latest baseball Battle of Perry Township at Holder Field.
In a way, it was proper because the standout junior pitcher commanded the mound as Southport edged Perry Meridian 3-1 in a Conference Indiana contest. Short allowed two hits, struck out 11 and walked only one.
His pitching prowess and two runs batted in by senior Pa’Tyn Pardue led to the Cardinals’ first win in the township series since 2008.
“It has been a long time,” first-year coach Mike Klopfenstein said. “We made some mistakes in this one, but we came through. We’re always in the game when Avery pitches; he is easily among the best pitchers in the state.”
Southport scored in the first and third innings on Pardue’s run-producing doubles and a bases-loaded balk in the fifth to end Perry Meridian’s 10-year reign.
The Falcons scored their lone run when Caden Reed came from third on Alex Hooten’s sacrifice fly ball.
Short (2-1, 0.75 ERA, 31 strike outs) had excellent control throughout seven innings with nearly 80 percent of his pitches in the strike zone.
“I go out there trying to strike everybody out but I understand that I can’t do that,” said Short, a junior who is an Indiana University verbal commit. “I know it’s not very efficient but that’s my goal anyway. I do enjoy using our defense, especially my teammates defense because they are really good.”
The Cardinals are 4-4 after a doubleheader split against North Central. Southport visits Center Grove Thursday and then faces Greenwood in a twin bill Saturday at Holder Field.
The Falcons are 2-9 and meet Roncalli at Holder Field on Thursday.
Baseball notes: With warmer weather ahead, most Southside teams are searching for consistency … 4A No. 6 Roncalli (7-3) has wins against Center Grove, Carmel and Jeffersonville … Center Grove (6-5) upended Franklin Central 12-1 as the Trojans opened with nine runs in the first … coach John Rockey’s Flashes are 5-6 … Beech Grove (2-5) downed Tech 10-0 and league foe Monrovia 7-3; junior Nic Ancelet leads with .400 average … Greenwood (3-6) split Saturday with Franklin; Woodmen have played eight Mid-State games; leading slugger is senior T.J. Bass, .440, three home runs, but pitching staff has 7.80 ERA … Greenwood Christian is 2-5 with wins against Manual and Bethesda Christian … Class A No. 12 Lutheran (4-2) opened with three wins.
Softball notes: Center Grove (14-0) holds the 4A No. 1 ranking in state coaches poll; one of five ranked Southside teams with No. 6 Roncalli and No. 22 Franklin Central, 3A No. 30 Beech Grove and Class A No. 17 Lutheran … Last week CG shut out No. 5 Cathedral 11-0 and No. 11 Avon 15-2; hitting phenomenal .471 with six batters over .500 and pitcher Abby Herbst, 8-0, 0.41 ERA … Roncalli (11-1) riding nine game win streak, blasting away with 16 home runs, seven by senior Scout Leffler; leading pitchers, Jordan Jenkins (5-0, 1.59 ERA) and Amber Linton (4-1, 1.05 ERA), visit Franklin Central today … FC coach Kathy Stricker has Flashes at 8-2 with five straights wins, including three against top-10 teams, Katie Back hitting .514 and 5-1 on mound … Southport (5-4) has 3-1 record in Conference Indiana … Greenwood Christian (5-2) averaging 9.4 runs … Greenwood (3-9) and Perry Meridian (2-8) looking for a turnaround.