FRANKTON — The cold weather did little to cool off the Elwood Lady Panthers’ hitting attack Thursday as they pounded out 19 hits to beat host Frankton 19-5 and gain a share of the Central Indiana Conference title with one game remaining.
“I’ve been telling them all week that this is step number six and we have step number seven on Tuesday,” Elwood coach Chris Noone said, alluding to the Lady Panthers seventh and final conference game next Tuesday at Mississinewa. The Lady Panthers were originally scheduled to host Pendleton Thursday, but the rain out with Frankton on Wednesday caused a schedule shuffle.
Elwood came out ready to roll as seven of their first eight batters reached base in the first. Elwood hitters pounded the ball in the first with three doubles to open a 4-0 lead.
Frankton put two on in the bottom of the first but could not score against Elwood starter Mackenzie Bryan.
Elwood scored twice in the top of the second before a Kyleigh Garner RBI single scored Ashtyn Rastetter in the bottom of the inning for Frankton’s first run. The Lady Eagles loaded the bases with two outs but Bryan got Lexi Gray to ground out to short for the final out.
Elwood put the hurt on in the third, sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring 11 runs to put their stamp on win No. 16.
Kaitlyn Leisure led the charge with a double and a two-run homer, her fourth on the season. In all, the Lady Panthers had 10 hits and a walk in the inning against Frankton starter Tia Sharp. “We were stroking the ball early in the game,” said Noone. “It was good to see, we’ve had a lot of time the last couple days to get swings in.”
Frankton scored four in the fourth with back-to-back RBI singles by Garner and Caitlyn Clark to go along with a two-run double by Kaylee Irwin to cut into the deficit.