BEDFORD — Franklin Central pitcher Gabby Snyder dictated the fate of the Pendleton Heights softball team in the semistate matchup here Monday morning.
The Flashes dropped the Arabians, in more ways than one, 1-0 to end Pendleton's season at 26-5.
Snyder allowed a leadoff infield hit in the first inning to PH's Sarah Dixon and that was the final hit the Arabians would get in the contest as Snyder kept them baffled. Three PH hitters reached base by means of a couple of walks and a hit batter. Twice in the game a Pendleton runner reached second base but no runner got as far as third.
"We knew it would be a 1-0 or 2-1 game," said PH coach Rob Davis. "She throws a drop. We were going down to get them and popping the ball into the air." That happened six times including the seventh inning when all three batters were retired on infield popouts to end the game.
The game's only run? Snyder, of course. She clouted a pitch from PH starter Bailey Benefiel over the center field fence with one out in the fifth.
"I didn't know she hit the ball that well," said Davis. "I knew she had six homers or something like that. today she got the best of us."
Benefiel gave up just one infield single through three innings, but her normal strikeout rate was never reached. She had four strikeouts, three walks and a wild pitch in six innings of work.
"Bailey didn't have her best stuff," said Davis. "But she went out there and competed."
The Arabians had two errors, both of them on left fielder Sydney Windlan, who dropped a foul fly ball and overthrew third after catching a fly ball. Neither of the errors resulted in any runs.
Pendleton Heights has five seniors on its tournament roster, two of them starters. Catcher Alexandra Slick and third baseman Elizabeth Sigler started Monday's game. Pitcher Brooke Wendling, along with Kyndall Dishroon and Madyson Lee are the players who will be lost to graduation for next year.
The Flashes advanced to the title game Monday night with a 20-5 record.