GREENFIELD — Morganne Denny saw her target. She nearly hit it too.
A two-run home run to left-center field from the junior, which came close to hitting Greenfield-Central’s new scoreboard, helped the Cougars dismantle visiting Westfield on Wednesday in the team’s home opener.
Greenfield-Central, which defeated Westfield 5-4 last season, used a four-run first inning and 14 team hits to run away with a 13-8 win. The Shamrocks scored four times in the fifth inning, but it was too late, as the team trailed 11-1 midway through the third frame.
Denny finished 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs, four runs scored and a walk. She added another home run in the bottom half of the sixth inning to left field. Her deep shot in the first inning was her first of the season, though, as the team now has six overall.
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The other four belong to junior Michaela Ballman.
“The good thing about our season is we have jumped on teams and scored multiple runs in the first inning of each game,” Cougars head coach Jason Stewart said. “Morgan (Denny) killed it all night, her swing was fantastic. She took a whole different approach from last game, and it worked out for her.”
Sophomore pitcher Sydney Williams, who did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, earned the win on the mound for Greenfield-Central (3-0). After a one-run first inning in which she threw 23 pitches, Williams settled down in the second and third frames and only needed a total of 18 throws to handle Westfield (3-3).
“Sydney (Williams) threw well considering she didn’t have her change up tonight, which has been a really good pitch for her lately,” added Stewart. “I was happy with her.”
After setting the tone early, Greenfield-Central scored five more times in the third inning off seven hits and no errors from the Shamrock defense. Juniors Casey McDaniel, Codey Miller and Sara Morris all added doubles in the inning.
For the Shamrocks, junior Lexey Falls earned the loss on the mound, failing to make it past the first inning. With the Cougars up 3-1, Westfield coach Brian Revercomb made the switch to freshman Rebekah Davidson, who allowed the five-run third inning for Greenfield-Central.
Morris, Jessie Rankin and Kensie Bradley also scored multiple runs in the win for the Cougars as Bradley, a freshman, also recorded a stolen base while pinch running for Maria Kihega in the first inning.
Senior Madeline Gibson came off the bench, as well, and recorded a single and run scored in a complete team effort.
The Cougars hit their usual mark as the team came in averaging 13.5 runs per game, thanks in large to a 23-4 win over Speedway in the season opener.
Morris, who starts in right field, made a diving catch in foul territory early in the team’s win against Westfield on Wednesday. Morris traveled at least 30 feet to the foul line and made the catch in the grass behind first base.
“She made a great play on it,” Stewart said. “She covered a lot of range. That’s a hard ball tailing away from you out in foul territory. She can cover a lot of ground and has a great arm. She’s an asset for us out there.”
Greenfield-Central will look to remain undefeated at home on Friday against Beech Grove.
Westfield 8, Greenfield-Central 13
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
Westfield (3-3);100;240;1; — ;8;10;2
Greenfield-Central (3-0);425;202;x; — ;13;14;4
WP: Williams (GC). LP: Falls (WF).
2B: McDaniel, Miller, Morris (GC). Ferrer (WF). 3B: Ferrer (WF). HR: Denny 2 (GC).
RBI: Denny 4, Durick, Francis, Kihega, Morris, Ballman, Miller 2, Young (GC). Falls, Molter 2, Ferrer, Swartout 2, Thompson (WF). SB: Bradley (GC).
GC: Denny 4-4, Williams 2-3, 3 strikeouts on mound.