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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Greencastle softball outlasts Cougars

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

(Photo)
Greencastle shortstop Taylor Pruitt rockets a throw to first base in Tuesday's contest against North Putnam. [Order this photo]
The Greencastle softball team did something Tuesday it hasn't done is many years -- start the season 2-0. For the second straight night, the Tiger Cubs were able to get the best of North Putnam and come away with a 6-3 victory.

The game started off a little rocky for the Tiger Cubs, but head coach Dave Keller made a change on the mound and bought his team enough time to find their bats.

"Alex (Basile), who finished the game, pitched the whole game last night," Keller said. "Pitched a great game. We're not going to rely on one pitcher all year. We're building this and I'm not going to ask a kid to throw every game. Courtney (Adams) is our No. 2 pitcher and she's a freshman. I think she had a little bit of nerves.

"But all in all, I think she started to come around. We were just at the point where we weren't hitting the ball like we wanted to and I didn't want to get into too big of a hole and not be able to dig ourselves out of it. So I wanted to give us a chance for our bats to come around and they did," Keller added.

The Tiger Cubs found themselves down early as North Putnam took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Bridget Johnston crossed the plate. North Putnam was holding GHS in check in the bottom of the second, but a triple by Danielle Thomas plated teammate Riley Seahorn.

After the Cougars scored on in the top of the third, Greencastle responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning. They added their fourth run in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead.

North Putnam was able to cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the sixth when Madi Asbell scored. However, as they had done all evening, Greencastle answered the challenge.

The Tiger Cubs padded their lead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning en route to a 6-3 win. Keller said the 2-0 start is something special for his team.

"We basically went a week and a half without practice and came back last night. So I'm happy -- 2-0. It's been four or five years since we were 2-0 to start the season," he said.

North Putnam head coach Benny Ault said his team is dealing with a lot of change to start the season and are still trying to shake off the rust of spring break.

"It hurts when you have a spring break and you come back and play conference games back-to-back. And we're a young team. A freshman pitcher, a new catcher back there as a sophomore and we have had a lot of girls not returning. We have three seniors, but we're a very young team. It looks good for the future. Sabrina is going to come along really nicely as the year goes on," Ault said.

He said he thinks the team will improve as the season wears on and should be looking good come tournament time.

"We're looking at it as we're running a marathon and not a sprint. We know this team has some talent. Errors are costing us runs right now. I've always told the girls that errors will accumulate runs, but I foresee us being a pretty good team toward the end of the season," Ault said.

For Keller, he sees a hungry team that is wanting to make some noise this season.

"I see a lot of character with these girls and I see a lot of want to do well, want to be successful. I have six seniors who told me on the bus last night that they've never beaten North Putnam. So this is a year of firsts and I told them tonight 'this is your year of firsts,'" he said.

Greencastle will travel to Edgewood Thursday at 5 p.m., while North Putnam will travel to Eminence Thursday at 5 p.m.

At Greencastle

N. Putnam 101 001 0 -- 3 11 3

Greencastle 012 102 x -- 6 11 3

3B -- Thomas (GHS)

2B -- Pruitt (GHS), Thomas (GHS)