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Softball Trojans throttle Blackhawks for first win

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Haylie Graham of the New Castle High School softball team trots around the bases after hitting her second home run of the game during the bottom of the second inning of Thursday evening’s contest against visiting Cowan at Baker Park. Graham went 3-for-4 from the plate, scored a trio of runs, and had seven RBI in the Trojans’ 21-1 romp past the Blackhawks in a game which ended after 4 1/2 innings on the 10-run rule.
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Kelsie Patton (19) of the New Castle High School softball team completes her pitch to the plate against a batter from visiting Cowan during Thursday evening’s game at Baker Park. Patton was the winning pitcher in the contest, hurling three scoreless innings during which she gave up two hits, no walks, and struck out seven batters as the host Trojans defeated the Blackhawks 21-1 in a game that ended after 4 1/2 innings on the 10-run rule.
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Alyssa “Peanut” Semler (4) of the New Castle High School softball team belts a double in the top of the first inning in front of Cowan catcher Payton Maher (12) during Thursday evening’s game at Baker Park. Semler went 4-for-4 from the plate, scored her team’s first run of the season plus two more, and had three RBI in the Trojans’ 21-1 romp past the visiting Blackhawks in 4 1/2 innings. It was New Castle’s first win and first home game of the season.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

There’s nothing like home cooking (and warmer weather) to get a high school softball team back on the right track. At least that’s what the New Castle High School softball team probably was thinking during and after its game with visiting Cowan Thursday evening at Baker Park.

After scoring no runs and getting just three hits in each of its first two road losses of the season, the host Trojans feasted on Blackhawk pitching and fielding errors to romp past Cowan 21-1 in a game that ended after 4 1/2 innings on the 10-run rule.

New Castle got its first victory of the season in its home opener and improved to 1-2. The Blackhawks trekked back to southern Delaware County with a 0-3 ledger.

The Trojans pounded out 18 hits in the contest, exactly one-half (nine) for extra bases. The biggest bat was wielded by senior Haylie Graham, who went 3-for-4 and blasted a pair of three-run homers and produced seven RBI.

But Graham wasn’t the only hot stick for New Castle. Alyssa “Peanut” Semler went 4-for-4 with a triple and double, scored three runs, and had a trio of RBI. Mariah Nicholson was 3-for-3, got on base another time after being hit by a pitch, scored thrice, and had three RBI. Cameron Tabor was 2-for-4 with a double and triple, scored twice, and had three RBI.

In addition, Olivia Neal went 2-for-4 (both hits were doubles), walked once, scored three times, and had a RBI. Shylyn Floyd was 2-for-2 with a walk, scored a trio of runs with a RBI, and Jaylia Harris scored twice, was 1-for-3 at the plate, and knocked in three runs. Madie Harter got a hit and scored a run, and Allicen Burris got the other hit.

Trojan starting pitcher Kelsie Patton hurled three innings to pick up the victory. The only “trouble” she got into in the circle was when Cowan’s Kaylee Kear singled with two outs in the top of the first inning and Casey Tutterow followed with a double that put both runners into scoring position.

But Patton bore down and struck out the next batter to get out of the jam. Patton gave up no runs and just the two hits, no walks, and struck out seven Blackhawk batters while pitching those three frames.

After Cowan starting pitcher Karlee Rumfelt retired the first batter she faced in the bottom of the first inning, 13 straight New Castle hitters reached base and all scored, capped by Graham’s first three-run homer.

Helen Covington came in to relieve Rumfelt in the circle after Graham’s round-tripper and promptly walked the next two Trojan batters. But both baserunners intentionally stepped away from the bags before a pitch for the the final two outs of the inning to speed the game along.

New Castle scored six more runs in the last of the second inning, once again capped by another Graham three-run round-tripper, to make the score 19-0 after two. The Trojans added a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to boost their advantage to 21-0.

Graham came in to pitch the final two innings for New Castle and gave up two hits, a walk, and the lone Cowan run in the top of the fifth, which was unearned. Graham struck out two Blackhawk batters during her time in the circle.

The Trojans were scheduled to host a softball doubleheader Saturday against Southport. It was postponed due to the weather.