By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
FRANKTON, Ind. —
The Alexandria Tigers were sharp and efficient Tuesday in the opening game of the Madison County Softball Tournament, taking down host Frankton 15-4 for their fifth win of the year.
The Tigers opened the game with a home run and busted a close game open in the third with nine runs.
“We are a great hitting team I think that is one of our strengths,” said Alexandria coach James King. “We still have to work on some defense. It’s early in the year, and we’ve been in the gym a lot, that’s the way it’s been.”
Leadoff hitter Jamie Dircks got things started for Alex with a home run on a 3-2 pitch from Frankton starter Taylor Ryan. Ryan issued a
walk to Natalie Beeman but settled down to retire the next seven hitters when disaster struck.
Dircks doubled with one out in the third to start a 10-hit, nine-run outburst that gave Alex a 10-0 lead.
Frankton responded with a run in the bottom of the inning after Kaylee Irwin doubled with one out and scored on a groundout to second by Sydney Smith.
Alex struck again in the fifth, scoring five runs to push the lead to 15-1. Frankton, playing its first game of the season, battled back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough to continue the game.
“That was our first game,” Eagles coach Jeremy Parker said. “We have got to get better. The only way to go is to get better.”
Alexandria scored 15 runs on 16 hits, a very efficient night.
“We’re solid, top to bottom,” King said. “I don’t even think I could screw up this lineup. We have that good of a lineup.”
Dircks led the Alexandria attack with three hits, including a home run and two doubles. Taylor Jennings and Ashley Beeson each drove in three runs.
Mariah Cook picked up the victory for Alexandria (5-2), Ryan took the loss for Frankton (0-1).
In Game 2, Elwood took on Anderson Prep Academy and came away with a 12-2 win in five innings.
It appeared early on that the Jets may be primed for an upset, but Elwood recovered from a slow start. The Jets plated a run in the first when leadoff hitter Bethany Sulc scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Panthers responded in the top of the second with a six-run outburst to blow the game open. Ashley Kleinbub singled to start the inning and scored on Danielle Robertson’s single.
Elwood had four consecutive doubles and scored three runs with two outs. Elwood added two runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to stretch the lead to 12-1.
“I knew we were going to be a little rusty coming out, but for the most part I thought we played well,” Elwood coach Chris Noone said. “I’m anxious to see how we progress over the next few weeks.”
Tenasha Stephens picked up the win, going three innings and surrendering one run on two hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts. Malquisha Murphy-Hopkins took the loss for APA (0-1), giving up 12 runs on 14 hits.
Robertson drove in four runs to lead Elwood (1-0).
Elwood and Alexandria will return to Frankton to square off in Round 2 of the tournament Thursday at 5 p.m.