ARCANUM — After a leadoff home run by Allie Downing put Tri-Village up 1-0, the Arcanum softball team took control and run ruled the Patriots 11-1 in five innings Monday in Arcanum.
On a chilly, windy day in Arcanum, the Trojans played well in all facets of the game with strong hitting, pitching and fielding to defeat their Cross County Conference rivals.
After giving up the leadoff home run, Arcanum pitcher Abbie Bruns held Tri-Village scoreless while striking out two and walking just one. The Arcanum defense was solid behind Bruns, too, committing no errors and only giving up six hits on the night.
“Abbie Bruns as always consistent on the mound,” Arcanum coach Rick Stone said. “With that home run, she’s only given up three earned runs all year long. She’s playing great. Our defense, our defense is solid. We’ve got a very good defensive team. We made some great plays today.”
The Trojan offense also was strong Monday night with 11 runs on 11 hits, including three home runs.
“Arcanum hit the ball soundly,” Tri-Village coach Tracy Barhorst said. “It didn’t where we pitched it; they hit it.”
At the beginning of the game it didn’t look like Arcanum would cruise to victory as Downing ripped a home run to left-center for a 1-0 Tri-Village lead to lead off the first inning.
“She’s been hitting the ball very well,” Barhorst said. “She works very hard. She played good a defensive game for us as well. But I’ve got more than just one. They can do it. They’ve got to believe. Allie did a fantastic job.”
It took Arcanum a little while to get its bats going as the Trojans were held scoreless in the first inning, which was the only inning they didn’t score. Arcanum did get a couple base runners via walks, but Tri-Village pitcher Rachel Fickert got out of the jam to preserve the 1-0 lead.
After collecting a pair of hits in the first inning, Tri-Village recorded one hit in each of the second through fifth innings. But each time the Patriots stranded the runner as they were held in check the rest of the game.
“We’re making contact, just right at people,” Barhorst said. “Everything will come together.”
Meanwhile Arcanum got its bats going — a product of being more patient at the plate, Stone said — beginning with a Brittany Kinney home run to lead off the bottom half of the second inning and tie the game at 1-1.
Bruns then doubled to right field, and her courtesy runner, Hannah Weaver, scored as Tri-Village made a throwing error on a bunt by Madison Brandon to give Arcanum a 2-1 lead.
In the third inning Loganne Stone and Josie Weaver started the Arcanum rally with back-to-back singles, scoring Stone and giving the Trojans a 3-1 lead.
After a walk of Cheyenne Aikman and a sacrifice bunt by Emily Kolling, Bruns got an infield single to score Weaver and make it 4-1. Brandon then hit a double to drive in two more runs, making the score 6-1 in favor of Arcanum.
Tara Simpson and Stone led off the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles, setting the stage for a three-run home run by Weaver to increase Arcanum’s lead to 9-1.
After playing with a deep fence last year, Arcanum moved in the fences this year. The shorter distance to the walls helped carry some of the balls out of the park, but they were well hit.
“They got ahold of them,” coach Stone said.
Three batters later, Kinney drilled her second home run of the game, a two-run shot that scored Cassidy Clark, to give Arcanum an 11-1 lead.
“Brittany, she’s a strong freshman,” coach Stone said. “She hit the ball a long way. Just trying to get her a little more patient at the plate on pitch selection. She’s going to be a heck of a ballplayer for us.”
With the 10-run lead, Arcanum retired Tri-Village in the fifth inning for the 11-1 run rule victory.
“You have to move on, and you have to keep going,” Barhorst said. “This is softball, and you play every day, so you have to move on. You have to pick up where you left off, and hopefully you get better.”
Arcanum had 11 runs on 11 hits in the game and stranded four runners. The Trojans made no errors.
Tri-Village had one run on six hits and stranded four runners. The Patriots made two errors.
Kinney had the best day at the plate with two home runs, going 2-for-3 in the game for Arcanum.