Bowling Green started off the 14th District Softball Tournament with a bang on Monday evening, scoring eight runs in the first inning on their way to a 15-1 first round win over Warren Central.
The Lady Purples, who suffered a 9-8 loss at the hands of the Lady Dragons earlier in the season, showed how much they had matured as a young team throughout the season by firing on all cylinders from the first pitch.
“I think that we were really relaxed even though this was a really big game,” said Bowling Green head coach Demont Franklin. “You could tell that they were really comfortable out there and not trying to force anything.”
“Comfortable” might have been an understatement, as the Lady Purples exploded for eight runs in the top of the first inning on seven hits and went through their whole line-up including their three leadoff hitters twice.
From there, Bowling Green (10-15) kept rolling by using fantastic defensive play to keep Central off of the board.
The Lady Dragons created some scoring opportunities in the bottom of the first inning, loading the bases but unable to capitalize.
In the top of the third inning, the Lady Purples nabbed four more runs on five more hits to blow the lead further open at 12-0.
“I’m happy that the girls showed up ready to play from inning one to the last pitch, said Franklin. “There’s been times this year where we’ve had trouble staying focused during games and losing leads.
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We came out tonight and really played a complete game.”
Central (3-23) threatened once more in the bottom of the third inning by getting runners on first and second but again came up empty.
The Lady Purples tacked on three more insurance runs in the top of the fifth inning to seal the deal with a 15-0 lead before the Lady Dragons added a run in the bottom of inning.
Bowling Green pounded out 19 hits on the evening including four from Kobie Duncan and three apiece from Kassidy Mason and Emma Bennett. Bennett added four RBI’s for the Lady Purples.
Warren Central mustered five hits on the night, two coming from Erin Hendrick.
With the win, Bowling Green will take on top-seeded South Warren (28-2) in a 14th District Semifinal game tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m.
“We are going to try and come out and play loose,” said Franklin of tomorrow evening’s game with the Lady Spartans. “If we come out tight and nervous, we’re not going to play very well against a good team like that. If we play loose, I think we can put up a pretty good battle.”
Following that game will be the other semifinal matchup between Greenwood and Warren East, which is slated to begin at 8:00 p.m. The District 14 Championship will be played on Thursday evening at 6:00 at Greenwood.