Franklin Monroe softball hits pass Mississinawa Valley for conference win


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — The Lady Jets came away with a 14-3 win over Mississinawa Valley at home on April 24. Franklin Monroe got the win in five innings after falling behind early.

Franklin Monroe head coach Jared Morris said Mississinawa Valley came out swinging. There wasn’t a lot his team could do as the bats got hot early for the Lady Blackhawks. But, his team capitalized on some mistakes by Mississinawa Valley early and started to roll.

“They came out hitting the ball. Nothing we could do there. No errors that first inning. Gave up some hits, they got some runs. But, we settled in defensively and we responded well in the bottom of the first. We took advantage of some mistakes they made defensively. We also put the ball in play,” Morris said.

The Lady Blackhawks were once again hit with the injury bug. They did get freshman Gentry Newbauer back, but did not have freshman pitcher Ella Godfrey.

Mississinawa Valley head coach Max Guillozet said he is playing players out of position to make up for the injuries. That includes having some players try to pitch.

“The game is all about pitching. Right now, I’ve got three girls willing to step up and try to do the job. You just got to muster through it,” Guillozet said.

Sophomore Cora Hoggatt got the scoring going with a RBI single. Senior MacKenzea Townsend drove Hoggatt in to make it a 2-0 game. Freshman Emma Brock drove in Townsend on a sacrifice flyout and gave the Lady Blackhawks an early 3-0 lead.

Then Franklin Monroe got the bats going in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Layni Ressler and senior Jocelyn Gray each drove in a run on a sacrifice out to make it 3-2.

With two outs, the Lady Jets scored three more runs. Senior Joanie Hall drove in a run with a walk to tie the game. With bases loaded, Franklin Monroe took the lead scoring two runs on an error.

In the bottom of the second, Franklin Monroe scored three more runs. Gray drove in a run on a RBI single. Senior Aleya Beatty drove in a run on a sacrifice flyout and another run scored on a wild pitch.

After the first inning, Franklin Monroe and senior Keihl Johnson started to shutdown the Mississinawa Valley offense. Johnson said it was a collective effort to keep calm on defense and start getting outs.

“I think it was backed up defensively too. It took some adjustments pitching wise to lock in. But after that, it worked out,” Johnson said.

Mississinawa Valley had a few chances to score during the game, but couldn’t come through with that one hit to send them home. Guillozet said right now, they do need to light up the scoreboard to win some games. But the bats couldn’t stay hot after the first inning.

“I thought well, maybe we are going to hit the ball tonight. Then that fizzled out pretty quick. It is what it is,” Guillozet said.

The Lady Jets put up six more runs in the third inning. Senior Jozlynn Wintrow said once the team started to be more patient at the plate, they started to score more runs.

“We just had to sit back in the batters box and wait for it. Other than that, I feel like we got on top of the ball and did what we needed to do,” Wintrow said.

Beatty echoed the same thought. She said they started to catch on to Townsend and were patient, waiting for the right pitch to attack.

Junior Lila Davis had a two-run hit to make it an 11-3 game. Three more runs scored on walks and wild pitches to give the Lady Jets a 14-3 lead.

Mississinawa Valley had a chance in the fourth inning to score with runners at second and third base, but could not get one of them to score. Franklin Monroe kept up their solid play on defense to get the final three outs for the run-rule win.

Playing out of her position, Townsend pitched all four innings for Mississinawa Valley and had three strikeouts. Johonson finished with six strikeouts in five innings pitched for Franklin Monroe.

Mississinawa Valley is now 4-8 on the season with a 3-6 WOAC record. Guillozet said he is not sure he will have a healthy roster before the season is over, but they will continue to fight and keep going at it.

Franklin Monroe is 6-15 on the season with a 4-4 record. The end of the regular season is coming up soon with tournament draw taking place on April 28.

Wintrow said the team will enjoy these last few weeks of the season together. For the six seniors on the team, it’s their last few weeks being a part of the Franklin Monroe softball program.

Johnson said they still have a postseason to look forward to and will enjoy that time with teammates as they compete to see how far they can go.

“Enjoy our last couple games that we have together playing as a team. Just try to have fun. Still try in the game, but try to have fun. That way, we can enjoy our last few games,” Beatty said.

Franklin Monroe will host Arcanum on April 25 at 5 p.m. and then head to Houston on April 26 for a 5 p.m. first pitch. Mississinawa Valley will host Dixie on April 25 at 5 p.m. They will then compete in the Dylan Williams Tournament at Union City on April 27 starting with a 10 a.m. game against Tri-Village.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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