Southsider Voice correspondent
Greenwood’s softball team is among four 4A teams on the Southside that have a lofty state ranking.
The Woodmen are 11-1 after three quality wins Saturday in the Trojan Classic at Center Grove, where they defeated No. 4 Roncalli 5-4 in their opener. Coach Stephanie Senac’s Woodmen also defeated Columbus North 8-3 and Mount Vernon (Fortville) 4-1.
Greenwood is swinging big bats as Davis Carter (seven home runs this season) and Rachel Overton hit back-to-back homers against Roncalli in a come-from-behind thriller.
Against the Rebels, the Woodmen pounded out 11 hits but needed Megan Overton’s drive to left field to bring in Danielle Speas from second for the winning run in the sixth. Roncalli threatened in the seventh when pinch-hitter Monica Tatarek hit a one-out single to left and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Overton got the final out on a grounder to first.
Deep in pitching, Greenwood’s winning hurlers Saturday were Overton (5-1) against Roncalli, University of Georgia recruit Brittany Gray (4-0) against Mount Vernon and Rachel Overton (1-0) against Columbus North. Each pitcher went the full seven-inning distance.
Pitching depth is a luxury for Senac, who could call upon senior Stephanie Smith and junior Speas if needed.
“Our pitching has improved,” Senac said. “If one pitcher is off or not 100 percent, we can adjust. When we have days like this (three games), we can keep coming back strong, and that is a big plus for us.”
The Woodmen hope their pitching depth and their prowess at the plate continues. Greenwood is in one of the most difficult 4A sectionals with 2013 4A runner-up Franklin Central, Center Grove and improving Franklin, New Palestine and Whiteland in the mix. Last year New Pal stunned Greenwood 1-0 in a semifinal matchup.
“We have a solid team, but we still have a lot to work on,” Senac said.
Flashes win Ben Davis Classic
Stretching its winning streak to 11 games, 4A No. 6-ranked Franklin Central defeated Pendleton Heights 6-1 Saturday for the Ben Davis Classic championship.
FC had nine hits in the title game as Pendleton Heights made three errors that led to two runs.
The Flashes (12-1) downed Avon 4-3 and Perry Meridian 3-2 to advance to the title game. Perry Meridian won the third-place matchup against East Central 5-4 in eight innings. The Falcons defeated North Central 12-2 in six innings in their opener.
Center Grove wins three
After starting 1-5, the Trojans have won seven of their past eight games. Veteran coach Russ Milligan’s squad defeated Mount Vernon 7-0, 4A No. 2 Jennings County 7-4 and Columbus North 12-7.
The Trojans pounded 12 hits against Jennings County as Delainey Turner had four hits and two RBIs and winning pitcher Taylor Hammill had three hits and two RBIs. Against Mount Vernon, Center Grove’s Ashley Pratt struck out 10 Marauders and allowed only three hits.
Center Grove snapped a 5-5 tie with a six-run uprising in the fifth against Columbus North. Mandy Dallas and Mallory Baker each drove in three runs.
Roncalli (12-5) went 0-3 Saturday, losing to Greenwood, Jennings County 3-2 and Columbus North 6-4. The Rebels gave up the winning run against Mount Vernon in the top of the seventh.
Before the classic, Roncalli coach Dave Lauck cautioned his players that they were entering the hardest part of their season. Southport upset the Rebels Friday. “We played four games in less than 24 hours. We saw some really good pitching. We were looking for quality at-bats. Seeing pitching like that, at least getting the bat on the ball gives you confidence. We hung in there all day.”