GREENCASTLE -- As threatening skies began to loom around the softball field at Greencastle High School, the situation facing the Tiger Cubs was beginning to look like the clouds above them. A three-run fifth inning, however, settled matters as Greencastle was able to knock off the visiting Monrovia Bulldogs 3-1.
Though it looked at times like the game could be called at any minute, the weather held off long enough to allow the hosts to overcome a sluggish start at the plate. Monrovia took an early 1-0 lead after chaining together three hits and a runner via error off of Kayla Downing.
Greencastle nearly responded right away in the bottom of the first. With one out, Kaytlynn Beaman flew out to short center field. Mallory Miller, standing on third, was gunned down at the plate by Bulldog center fielder Miranda Vondersaar on the ensuing throw, ending the inning and leaving the Cubs empty-handed.
For the next few innings, Downing and her counterpart -- Monrovia's Colleen Hadley -- settled in, denying both squads scoring opportunities. Downing would only allow one base runner over the next three innings.
In the fifth, Monrovia loaded the bases with two walks and a double, but was unable to capitalize as Downing induced a groundout to second from Monrovia's Kateland Hunter to end the inning.
Greencastle would then get to Hadley in its half of the fifth. Jessie Bennett and Skyanne White led off with singles before being bunted over by Erinn Beck. Taylor Pruitt smashed a double that scored the two base runners, giving Greencastle the lead 2-1.
Miller would ground out in the next at bat, but unexpectedly, Monrovia's Brook Freeman overthrew Hadley, and Pruitt, having moved to third on the play, took advantage by taking home and bumping the lead to 3-1.
Downing went 1-2-3 in the sixth, and though a two-out triple from Eryn Dillon put the Bulldogs in position to make the contest interesting, Downing got Hadley to ground out to third to end the contest in the Tiger Cubs' favor before any inclement weather could take shape.
Afterwards, Coach Robin Knapp was pleased with the result.
"We've been working on our defense and playing it tight. We want to get the first runner out, stay tight but play relaxed," Knapp said. "We came out wanting to challenge the arms of Monrovia early by creating opportunities to score. Monrovia stepped up in the first (inning), so we knew we'd have to bunt to move runners over and hit them in."
On starter Kayla Downing, Knapp commented, "She pitched well, hit her spots. She worked in junk pitches that kept the batters on their toes and was a handful for them. Once she got it into our defense's hands, we were pretty good."
Monrovia 100 000 0 - 1 5 1
Greencastle 000 030 X - 3 6 1
WP - Miller (CG, 5 K, 3 BB, 5 H, 1 ER)
LP - Hadley (CG, 3 K, 3 BB, 6 H, 2 ER)
2B - Dillon (M), Pruitt (2), Seahorn (G)
3B - Dillon (M)
RBI - Whitaker (M), Pruitt (2) (G)
Next game - Greencastle traveled to Monrovia on Tuesday.