Central Hardin hosted North Hardin at the softball diamond Thursday afternoon, with the Bruins relying on a four-run fifth inning to capture the 6-1 home win.
The game was knotted at zeroes all through the first three innings, with Bruins’ starter Jenna Smith and Trojans’ starter Sydnee Adkisson doing their best to limit opposing offenses.
“Sydnee did a good job early of keeping us off balance,” Central Hardin head coach Jamie Goodman said. “We were way out in front of a lot of stuff at the plate.”
The teams would both trade runs later in the fourth, setting the score at 1-1 moving into the top of the fifth.
Smith and her teammates would continue their stout defense to hold North scoreless for a further inning, rallying to get a pair of quick outs along with Smith collecting one of her eight Ks for the evening.
The Bruins’ offensive efforts would then start to pay off in the bottom of the fifth, with Lynlee Britain smacking a double into left field to kick things off.
Britain would end up leading Central in hits for the afternoon, tallying three as well as batting in an RBI.
Shortly after Britain advanced to second base, Allie Link would rise to the plate, putting down a perfectly placed bunt to see her way to first, as well as allowing Britain to make it to third.
Link, showing off her speed and good timing, would then steal second, now waiting for Alyssa Gent to bat her in for a score.
Gent, with Britain at third and Link on second, would make the most of her opportunity with a single to bring home Britain and put Link at third, in turn putting the Bruins up 2-1, no outs on the board.
Claire Taylor stepped up afterwards for a sacrifice fly to bring Link home and move Gent to scoring position at third, the score now at 3-1 in favor of the Bruins.
Avery Strader would take care of the rest, hitting a dinger over the centerfield wall on her second pitch to put Central up 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
Strader’s homerun Thursday was her third on the year, Central Hardin’s fifth.
Trader racked up two hits on the day, a total that was only bested by Britain’s three.
Link, Gent, and Smith were also productive at the plate, with all three chipping in with a hit each.
Adison Carter and Haley Cobb also helped out, contributing a hit apiece as well.
The game essentially was out of reach after the conclusion of the fifth inning, as the Bruin offense would cool off and score their final run in the sixth.
“You have to give Sydnee credit, she did a good job tonight,” Goodman said. “We made some adjustments later on in the game, put a few hits together, and got just enough runs to win the game.”
Smith would continue her dominance, holding the Trojan batters scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“Jenna was on tonight. She had good movement on the ball,” Goodman said. “We’ve been pitching in the cold for a while, and she likes throwing in the warm weather, so she was moving it around really well tonight. When she’s like that, she’s hard to hit off of.”
Smith would toss a complete game on the day, allowing just three hits and one run, finishing with no earned runs on 89 pitches and 70 strikes.
“I’ve been a little off recently, and they have some pretty good hitters,” Smith said. “I just had to be careful to keep it out of the middle at the plate.”
The Trojan batting was led by Kaylee Johnston, Molly Fulton and Cheyenne Carmickle. The trio all registered one hit each, with Carmickle bringing in North’s lone RBI.
Adkisson finished her night on the mound going for five innings with five earned runs on nine hits, as well as getting credit for the loss.
She also tallied four strikeouts, ending with an ERA of 7 after getting pulled for Brooklyn Carmickle for the final two innings.
Brooklyn Carmickle threw two strikeouts in relief while giving up one earned run on two hits, ending her afternoon with an ERA of 3.5.
Central Hardin’s (6-4) next game, scheduled for Friday night, against Marion County (4-3) was canceled because of weather.
The Bruins will take part in a doubleheader today, starting away at noon against Henderson County (6-1) followed by a 2 p.m. game against Caldwell County (5-3).
North Hardin (0-5), still searching for their first win of the season, hosts district opponent Elizabethtown (4-3) at 6 p.m. Monday night.
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