CHARLOTTESVILLE – The 4A No. 11 Greenfield-Central Cougars are enjoying being outside.
For the past two weeks, the Cougars couldn’t practice outdoors, let alone play a game. On Wednesday night, the Cougars continued their winning ways by defeating the 2A No. 12 Eastern Hancock Royals, 7-0, to push their record to 16-1.
“I thought we have done alright the last two nights,” Greenfield-Central coach Jason Stewart said afterward. “We weren’t able to get outside until yesterday, which was tough for us considering the roll we were on before the rain started.”
Despite Stewart’s concerns, Greenfield-Central standout Morganne Denny didn’t seem to be showing any rust, as she belted a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to give the Cougars all the runs they would need. In Denny’s next three trips to the plate, the Royals walked Denny on 12 pitches.
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“Morganne’s one of the best hitters in the state,” Stewart said. “But if teams want to walk her, we will take that all day with (Samantha Kihega) hitting behind her.”
Senior outfielder Sarah Morris drove in three other runs for the Cougars on a two RBI single in the third inning and a home run in the fifth inning that bounced directly on top of the fence and out of the park. Morris would finish 2-4 with three RBIs.
Cougar pitcher Michala Ballman improved her record to 8-0 while scattering four hits and receiving some help from her outfielders.
“I’ve never seen our outfielders play a better game, to be honest,” Stewart said.
With the game against the Royals in the rearview mirror, Greenfield-Central can focus on Thursday’s match-up against the 3A No. 1 New Palestine Dragons. With both teams undefeated in Hoosier Heritage Conference play, the game will go a long way toward determining the conference champion for the year.
“We’ve got to be perfect,” Stewart surmised. “In championship games like that, it comes down to two-out hits and great defense. We’re gonna give it our best and see what happens.”
Greenfield-Central 7, Eastern Hancock 0
WP: Michala Ballman LP: Jessi Potts
HR: Morganne Denny, Sarah Morris (GC). 2B: Kaysi Gilbert (EH).
Notables: M. Denny H, 2 RBI, 3 BB (GC). K. Gilbert 2-2, 2B.