The South Putnam Eagles softball squad capitalized on a four-run first inning to take the lead in West Central Conference play. The Eagles defeated Greencastle 5-2 to move past the Tiger Cubs for sole possession of the conference lead.
"I thought we were ready to play but I guess we weren't," GHS head coach Dave Keller said following the contest. "We threw the ball into center field on a ground ball to second and they scored four runs on us in the first inning. We got ourselves in a hole and we felt like we couldn't get out of it."
After the first inning, the teams played evenly, with GHS outscoring South 2-1. But the damage had been done.
"I'm proud of the girls. They stayed in there; they fought and battled," Canary said.
In the second inning, both Greencastle and South Putnam put together some impressive defensive moments.
As the Eagles' Allysia Lollar tore off first in an attempt to steal second, Tiger Cub catcher Cassie Alspaugh came up throwing. She laid the ball in front of second base, where a sliding Hannah Spencer caught it to send Lollar to the dugout.
Not to be outdone, South Putnam's Bailey Birt caught a laser shot off the bat of Jordyn Lewis and spun to tag out Briana Baker to end the inning.
Greencastle continued to threaten throughout the game, which resulted in the Tiger Cubs leaving 10 batters stranded. Greencastle has struggled off and on during the season and Keller hopes his team continues what they do best.
"We had a lot of opportunities but we couldn't get anybody to put a bat on the ball with runners in scoring position," Keller said.
The Eagles played strong throughout the game, with their only stumble coming in the fifth inning. Although they allowed runs in the fourth and sixth innings, the fifth was were they showed what they are made of.
Starting pitcher Samantha Tomasino allowed a walk and began to struggle with pitch location. Instead of pulling her ace, Canary gathered the infielders at the mound and surveyed the situation.
"I talked to her and talked to the catcher," Canary explained. "If she got in more trouble, we were going to do the switch earlier. She's tough. She gets frustrated but she also gets determined as well. I was proud of her."
Greencastle was led by Alspaugh who went 2-for-4 with two singles and pitcher Briana Baker with a double and two RBIs.
For South Putnam, Krystal Welch was 3-for-3 with three singles, while Oceaia Boetjer was 2-for-3 with one RBI. Tomasino also wielded a big bat, going 2-for-3 with a double two RBIs.
The Eagles and Tiger Cubs will tangled again tonight with the fate of the WCC possible at stake.
"We'll come back and be ready to play tomorrow," Keller said.
Canary knew that the Tiger Cub squad her Eagles faced Monday would be ready to play tonight's ballgame.
"They're a good team," she said. "It not going to be the same game tomorrow night -- it will be a whole new ballgame."
When asked if she would possibly switch up her gameplan for tonight's matchup, she responded with a quick smile.
"Depending on the situation, yeah…I'm not giving my secrets away," Canary joked.
South Putnam and Greencastle will battled again today at Greencastle with a 5 p.m. start.
At South Putnam
Greencastle 000 101 0 -- 2 6 4
South Putnam 400 100 x -- 5 9 2
WP -- Tomasino
LP -- Baker
2B -- Baker (GHS); Tomasino (SP)
Next game -- South Putnam and Greencastle will battle again today at Greencastle with a 5 p.m. start.