By Drew Terhall
VERSAILLES — The Arcanum softball team couldn’t hold off the undefeated Lady Indians of Carlisle for seven innings. The Lady Trojans lost 13-7 in the Southwest Division III District final at Versailles.
Head coach Mike Morris said with both teams being even, he felt like they had beat themselves with mistakes. Going up against a really good team in Carlisle, they couldn’t afford to give them any free outs.
“At that point, you can’t make mistakes. With a hitting team like that, it is what it is. They’re a really good team and we are too. I think if we played each other ten times, we might split five,” Morris said. “I could be wrong, but that’s just the way I feel about this team right here that we got.”
In the first two innings of the game, Carlisle had bases loaded at one point. In the first, Arcanum was able to hold Carlisle scoreless with bases loaded and one out. But in the second, the Lady Indians scored two runs to take a 2-0 lead.
But Arcanum responded. In the bottom of the second, senior Reece Blinn hit a RBI double with two outs. Then Blinn scored on a wild pitch and a throwing error to tie the game. Junior Ashlyn Miller hit a double to get into scoring position. Eventually, she came around to score on an error.
After taking the lead, the Lady Trojans were making some great defensive plays to stay ahead. In the fourth, Carlisle had runners at first and second with one out. The Lady Trojans were able to get the lead runner out at third and then held the Lady Indians scoreless. Miller made a diving catch in right field to take a hit away from Carlisle.
In the fifth, junior Emilie Fout hit a RBI to extend their lead, 4-2. In the same inning, Arcanum had bases loaded and two outs. Senior Brooklyn Ullery delivered from the plate with a two-run single to go up 6-2.
Once the game reached the sixth inning, it was all Carlisle. Arcanum did have a mistake here and there to prolong the inning for the Lady Indians.
With no outs, Carlisle loaded up the bases. They drove in two to cut the lead down to two runs. With two outs and bases loaded once again, the Lady Indians cleared the bases and took the lead, 7-6.
After holding Arcanum scoreless, Carlisle scored six more runs in the seventh. The Lady Trojans had a few more defensive misplays and also gave up a grand slam.
Morris said it could have been more of a low scoring game if both teams eliminated some of the errors. Both teams took advantage of the other’s mistakes.
The Lady Trojans did not go down quietly. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, senior Mollie Ericksen drove in a run to make it a 13-7 game. But, Arcanum could not sustain the two-out rally.
Junior Hannah Kendig had three strikeouts in the game.
Arcanum will be returning some of their core players for next season, but will be graduating seven seniors. Morris said this is the first group of seniors where he had coached them all four years of their high school careers. He said they will be missed by the program, but he hopes the younger players take note of how bad it feels to let this one slip away.
“They’re going to be missed. They were a good group we’ve had. They take it (loss) hard and we’re going to miss them. Hopefully, the younger girls see how bad it hurts and will appreciate it a little bit more when they’re here playing,” Morris said.
Arcanum finishes the 2023 season with a 21-7 record and an 11-0 conference record. They are WOAC champions and District runner-ups.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]