PENDLETON — With the weather threatening to end the night early, the Pendleton Heights softball squad beat Mother Nature to the punch Tuesday with a five-inning 11-1 Hoosier Heritage Conference win over Greenfield-Central at Legends Field.
The Arabians scored runs in all five innings as they dominated all three phases with 15 hits, solid pitching from Madison Fowler and sharp defense in the field.
“We’ve been talking about it all year, hitting is contagious,” Pendleton Heights coach Rob Davis said. “You saw what happens, one person gets a hit and they just keep falling and falling.”
Pendleton’s hit parade against Greenfield starter Mikayla Durick began with a lead-off double by Sarah Dixon in the first. It was the first of two doubles for Dixon, who filled in for injured Delilah Wright in center field.
“She’s a quality player,” Davis said of Dixon, who is normally the starting shortstop. “It doesn’t matter where I put her, she’s going to come to play and she’s talented enough and played enough games that she can play anywhere.”
Bre Pryor drove Dixon in with a groundout for the first run. Pendleton came back with three more runs in the second, including designated player Bailey Benefiel’s first career home run to take a 4-0 lead.
“It was exciting,” Benefiel said of the solo shot to left-center that landed in front of the scoreboard. “She (Durick) was down 3-1 to me so I knew the pitch was going to be perfect. I was waiting for it and got ready to swing hard.”
Greenfield scratched out what turned out to be its only run in the third inning on a strange play. Morganne Denny hit a long single to center with runners on first and second and one out. Dixon fielded the ball on a hop and fired the ball to second, where Denny had stopped. With the lead runner standing at third, Pryor tagged Darcie Huber who was caught between second and third. Pryor stepped on second for what was thought to be the third out as Greenfield’s Codey Miller raced home from third.