Class 2A No. 1 South Putnam kept its winning ways going after knocking off North Putnam 12-2 in six innings Monday night.
The Eagles pounced early, plating the first four batters that came up in the bottom of the first. Brooke Boetjer and Mattie Varvel hit singles that knocked in two runs apiece.
North Putnam responded by attacking the front of the hosts' defense. Laying down multiple bunts. The Eagle defense struggled to field the ball and allowed two runs to come home to cut the deficit in half.
South, after missing chances in the second and third innings to score, caught fire in the fourth inning. Janet Crafton began by belting a two-run shot to left field.
The hosts then began to slap hits every which way, piling up four addition runs in the inning but missing the chance to add on additional runs due to base running errors.
North Putnam extended the game by preventing the Eagles from grabbing two runs in the bottom of the fifth but finally fell after Varvel singled in her third run of the game to reach the 10-run plateau.
Afterwards, North Putnam head coach Benny Ault explained that the heavy amount of bunting was part of the plan against South Putnam ace Boetjer.
"Brooke has so much power behind her pitches that it's hard to catch up on them. One of the game plans coming in was to see if they could defend the plate and make them work for every out," Ault said.
"Obviously we wanted to hang with the No. 1 team in the state in every game you can. We told the girls to come out, keep playing hard and make them work for everything had.
"No matter what the scorebook says in the end, if you make them work hard for everything, then you've done your job," Ault added.
South Putnam head coach Chris Jones said that the Cougar approach was an effective one.
"To be honest, the way we struggled in the bunting situations defensively, I would have kept bunting as well. I think that was a smart move to keep the pressure on us to make the play," Jones said.
"We were finally able to focus, settle down and make the plays we know how to make without rushing ourselves. When we didn't handle it well, they kept doing what was working."
Jones also added that even though the squad tended to pick up runs in large numbers, getting one or two runs in a challenge sometimes for the squad.
"It's hard to get runs. We've been fortunate to get runs in bunches quite a bit. Any time we can get a run, it's nice. It's sometimes harder to get that single run that it is a bunch of runs," Jones said.
"When you get momentum rolling, you can get things rolling. There were times where we stopped ourselves from adding runs when we made mistakes on the base paths."
"When you get in tight games, you're going to have to be able to squeeze in runs here and there. It's things we need to be able to do, but we'll take the big innings when we can get them."
On Tuesday, South Putnam defeated North Putnam 14-1 in five innings on the road.
Dabkowski was 2-for-4 with two RBI with a home run. Thompson was 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Brooke Boetjer went 4-for-4 with three RBI, with Jenna Jones adding an RBI.
Janet Crafton wielded a big bat for the Eagles, smashing a grand slam home run and collecting five RBI in the win.
At South Putnam
North Putnam 020 000 -- 2 1 3
South Putnam 400 611 -- 12 13 4
WP -- Boetjer (8-0)
LP -- Fish
HR -- Crafton
3B -- Dabkowski
2B -- Trisler