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PREP SOFTBALL: Two-out rallies help Central Hardin rout North Hardin (04/19)

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By Grant Wieman

For nearly three full games – a successful span by nearly any other measure – the Central Hardin Lady Bruins had a problem. They couldn’t score until they got two outs against them.

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Call it a fluke or thriving under pressure, the streak continued into the fourth inning of Tuesday’s 17-3 win against the North Hardin Trojans.

“I think we do better when we’re more pressured,” Central Hardin freshman Bailey Richardson said. “We don’t mean to do it, but when we feel pressure, we do a lot better.”

The pressure was gone when the Lady Bruins led 11-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning, but after the first three hitters reached base, Richardson still came through with a two-RBI base hit to end the outless scoring drought.

Central Hardin (15-5, 4-0 17th District) piled on four more in the inning and sophomore Kaci Goedde shut down the Trojans (6-6-1, 0-3) in the top of the fifth to keep the Lady Bruins undefeated in district play.

“We just swung the bat pretty good with two outs,” Central Hardin coach Jamie Goodman said. “I thought tonight we did a good job of hitting good pitches. We’ve been struggling with that over the last couple weeks, but I thought we did a good job tonight of hitting our pitch and not the pitcher’s pitch.

“When we got two outs tonight, we did a good job of that and squared a few balls up.”

The two-out rally streak began in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday against McCracken County when the Lady Bruins put six runs on the board in the seventh inning to win Game 1. Sophomore Peyton Beger walked it off with a three-run homer.

In Game 2, Central Hardin’s only run came on a sacrifice fly – the catch made out No. 2 – by senior Callie Sondergard in the sixth inning.

Against North Hardin, the Lady Bruins didn’t have to wait. They picked up two quick outs in the first inning and immediately started rolling.

Freshmen Angel Ashlock and Emily Bryant walked, Beger ripped a single and sophomore Onnica Nichols plated all three with a drive down the left field line.

The next five batters reached as well, with Richardson driving in two runs and senior Meredith Jones plating one.

“Sometimes I feel like I do good whenever I’m focused on it more, but I’m starting to get my hitting back,” Richardson said. “I’ll get it. It’ll get there.”

Sondergard got the two-out scoring going in the second inning, driving a home run with Bryant on base. In the third inning, with Jones and senior Aubree Muse on base, Beger roped a two-RBI single to right-center.

The two-out streak ended with Richardson, in the lineup as a designated player instead of her customary position as catcher, came through in the fourth.

“She’s been in a little bit of a slump, but she’s still been swinging the bat well,” Goodman said. “She’s had a little bit of bad luck but she saw some fastballs and drove them back up the middle. She’ll be back.”

Beger’s RBIs built the Central Hardin lead back up after sophomore Lakyn Miller got going for North Hardin in the top of the third.

Central Hardin freshman Baylee Hardeman loaded the bases and walked in a run, bringing Goedde on in relief, and Miller came up with two outs.

“I have gone against her,” said Miller, who had two of the Trojans’ three hits. “I was more towards the back (of the batter’s box). I know her timing and everything. A lot of people were just impatient and didn’t really know her speed.”

Goedde escaped with no further damage and shut North Hardin down in order in the fourth – by then the Trojans were on their third pitcher – and Miller was on deck with a chance to go 3-for-3 and extend the game when Goedde got a groundout to end the game by mercy rule.

“I was hoping to get another hit and try to get on base and score the runner and first to keep going in the game,” Miller said. “I was just trying to keep everyone up to make good plays.”

Eighth-grader Trista Colasanti started for the Trojans and picked up the loss, allowing seven runs on six hits in one inning. Seniors Brooke Mahanna and Taylor Walters came on in relief, combining for 10 runs, nine hits and one strikeout.

Eighth-grader Emma Corder had a hit.

Muse was 3-for-3 with a run and stolen base, Jones was 2-for-4 with two runs and Beger was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Sondergard reached on all four trips to the plate, scoring three runs, and Bryant was 2-for-3 with two runs.

CENTRAL HARDIN 17, NORTH HARDIN 3
                                                  R H E

North Hardin 003 00              3 3 2
Central Hardin 722 6x           17 15 1
Trista Colasanti, Brooke Mahanna (2), Taylor Walters (4) and Ariana Hill, Sydney Coleman (3). Baylee Hardeman, Kaci Goedde (3) and Amanda Shackelford. WP: Hardeman. LP: Colasanti. HR: Callie Sondergard (CH).

UP NEXT: Central Hardin plays at Taylor County at 6 p.m. Thursday. North Hardin hosts Fort Knox at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Grant Wieman can be reached at 270-505-1754 or gwieman@thenewsenterprise.com.