Eagles remain perfect going into county tournament
Storm clouds that swept through Putnam County seemed to be dodging South Putnam High School Monday as the Eagle softball squad celebrated Senior Night against Greencastle.
The Class 2A No. 1 Eagles notched their 20th win of the season and wrapped up the WCC title after flying past the Tiger Cubs 13-0 in five innings.
South Putnam exploded for eight runs in the first inning to set the tone for the rest of the game.
After Greencastle collected their only hit of the game in the top half of the first, the bottom half started with an error, a walk and a sacrifice bunt. Brooke Boetjer singled to drive in the first two runs of the game.
Another walk and several errant pitches allowed Boetjer to score. Mattie Varvel singled in the fourth run before being nabbed on a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning.
A third walk and a wild pitch set-up Brooke Cundiff to drive in two with a double as the Eagles cycled back to the top of the order leading 6-0.
A double from Emily Dabkowski brought the lead up to seven and was further added to when the second error of the inning allowed Jenny Thompson to reach base and Dabkowski to score.
Greencastle pitcher Courtney Adams finally got out of the inning by coaxing a flyout from Kelsey Whitaker.
The Eagles tacked on four more in the third inning. Janet Crafton singled and was advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Dabkowski singled to score Crafton before Thompson tripled to plate the second run.
Whitaker singled to plate Thompson and scored later on Varvel's third hit of the game after Jenna Jones reached on an error to extend the inning.
South Putnam added the final run in the fourth through Dabkowski, who reached on an error with two outs and scored after a series of passed balls.
Greencastle's offense was held in check by the duo of Boetjer and Kaylin Yon, who allowed only a single hit and struck out six in the five innings the Tiger Cubs played.
South Putnam head coach Chris Jones said afterward that with all the additional factors during the game, the squad retained their composure throughout.
"You wonder as a coach if Senior Night might be a distraction, but the girls came out focused and made a nice start with eight runs in the first inning," Jones said.
"In games where we get leads like that, the coaching staff keeps the girls focused. We make sure they know the game situations and what to do. The girls stayed positive, stayed together and kept doing what they do."
Greencastle head coach Dave Keller was impressed by efforts from both squads.
"We put the ball in play and I'm happy with the way we came out. We put the ball in play, but they made nice plays defensively. Boetjer made a nice play on Taylor's hit in the first inning," Keller said.
"Their whole team is solid. They'rea not a lot of balls that get hit off Boetjer, but when they do, there's eight girls behind her that take care of things."
"For example, we laid a bunt down and Jenna Jones, playing at third, was all the way on the first base line making the play. That's impressive," Keller added.
Keller said that while the squad was down after a loss, the overall feel of the squad was still positive.
"Our goal is to keep battling and keep focused on the big prize. We're getting some girls healthy. Jessie Bennett caught for the first time in three weeks. Hopefully Alex Basile will be healthy enough to pitch," Keller said.
"The team isn't down after a game like this. They'll continue to battle and find positives from every game."
Jones added that the four Eagle seniors, Emily Dabkowski, Jenny Thompson, Brooke Boetjer and Kaylin Yon had done many great things for the squad and for the school.
"It's special for them, myself, and the program. They've brought the school and the team to places they haven't been. They all contributed tonight in their own way, which is great to see," Jones said.
"It's their final home game of the season, and it was a great send-off, but we're hoping this isn't the final game they play here this year."
On Tuesday, South Putnam defeated Greencastle 13-0 in five innings. Thompson was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. Boetjer added a home run, a double and three RBI. Jones added a double and an RBI, with MaKenzie Trisler having a double and two RBI. Brooke Cundiff was 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Yon pitched three innings, allowing a hit and recording two strikeouts. Ashlee Gibson pitched two innings with three strikeouts and two hits.
South Putnam will face North Putnam at 10 a.m. Saturday in game one of the Putnam County Tournament at Greencastle.
At South Putnam
Greencastle 000 00 -- 0 1 4
South Putnam 804 1X -- 13 11 0
WP -- Boetjer (12-0)
LP -- Adams (2-5)
3B -- Thompson
2B -- Cundiff, Dabkowski