GREENVILLE – The bats were hot as the Greenville softball team began its 2017 campaign with a 13-3 run rule victory over Wayne on Saturday afternoon in Greenville.
Greenville recorded 18 hits in the season opener, which ended in the sixth inning via a 10-run run rule. The Lady Wave had four players with three or more hits.
“Hitting gets contagious there,” Greenville softball coach Jerrod Newland said. “You know young kids stepped up and hit the ball pretty well. When you get 18 hits in six innings, you’re going to do a lot of things right.”
The Wave started off hot with freshman Morgan Gilbert leading off with an inside-the-park home run in her first high school at-bat, putting Greenville up 1-0 in the bottom of the first.
“Set the tone right at the get-go,” Newland said. “I think Gilby and (Bailey) Petry there had about seven hits between them today as the two rookies. Just good stuff. She’s going to be a good one.”
Greenville kept the offense going in the first inning. Sydney Grote and Cassie Cromwell drew back-to-back walks to put two runners on base then Alli Hill came through with a two-out double that drove in both runners.
Petry then cracked a RBI double in her first high school at-bat, making it 4-0.
Greenville added to its lead in the second inning. After Gilbert got a one-out single, Karsyn Shaffer recorded her second hit of the day, this one a RBI double, to make it 5-0.
After going down in order in each of the first three innings, Wayne started to get its offense going the second time through the order. The Warriors started off the top of the fourth with three consecutive hits to reduce Greenville’s lead to 5-2. Following a walk, the Warriors got back-to-back sacrifices to drive in another run and make it 5-3.
Petry, Greenville’s freshman pitcher, got out of the inning and stranded a runner on third base. She also stranded a runner at third in the fifth inning.
“She’s going to be a neat one,” Newland said of Petry working her way out of a couple jams. “That’s just the way we learn. Learn and go.”
Greenville’s defense helped out Petry and Sydney Grote, who pitched one scoreless inning in relief. The Wave didn’t commit an error in the season opener and got some big plays, including a diving catch by right fielder Lani Shilt in the fifth inning.
“Heck of a catch out there,” Newland said. “She laid out and made it. When you’re in the full air laying out you either catch it or it’s a home run. What a great play by the young lady.”
After not scoring in the third or fourth innings, Greenville’s offense got going again in the bottom of the fifth.
Cromwell started off the fifth inning rally with a double. Following a walk to Makayla Hanes, Hill recorded a RBI single to make it 6-3.
Petry then drove in two runs with a RBI double, and Shilt kept the Wave going with a RBI base hit to make it 9-3. After a bunt single by Chloe Sowry, Gilbert legged out an infield single that drove in another run and increased the Lady Wave lead to 10-3.
In the sixth inning Cromwell got Greenville going again with another double. Hill then hit a RBI single, and Petry hit a RBI double to make it 12-3. Shilt then ended the game with a walk-off RBI single, giving Greenville a 13-3 victory in six innings.
Hill led Greenville by going 4-for-4 with a double and four RBI. Gilbert was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Cromwell went 3-for-4 with three doubles and four RBI.
Shaffer was 3-for-4 with a double and a RBI. Grote went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. Shilt was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.