GREENFIELD — Jason Stewart was mad as hell and he wasn’t going to take it anymore.
Following his softball team’s sixth-straight loss Wednesday – a 9-1 drubbing by Class 2A Shenandoah – the Greenfield-Central head coach informed his varsity players that they would take the field the following evening against New Palestine’s junior varsity program. Conversely, Stewart let a group of mostly second-stringers and JV sluggers face the visiting Dragons’ Class 4A No. 7-ranked club on Thursday.
To the surprise of every honest individual at Jessica Barnhart Field, the Cougars’ varsity fill-ins led traditional powerhouse New Palestine 3-2 through four innings, just nine outs from what would have been one of the biggest upsets in local softball history. The Dragons, who booted four groundballs in the bottom of the fourth, finally grasped the reality of the situation and collected 12 runs on 13 hits over the final two frames for a 14-3, six-inning Hoosier Heritage Conference win.
“We haven’t had effort and we haven’t had focus, and the girls take for granted that they’re going to go out there everyday,” said Stewart, whose team started the season 11-2. “So, you’ve got to show them one way or the other that’s not the way it is.
“Ever since Darcie (Huber) went out, we’ve been in a funk. The mood has changed. I don’t know if the girls think we have no chance to win without her or what, but you’ve got to deal with that. You’re going to have injuries in any sport.”
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