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Trojans and Titans scrimmage as prelude to season openers

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New Castle High School senior softball player Alyssa “Peanut” Semler (4) zips the ball toward the plate against a batter from host Tri during Wednesday evening’s scrimmage. Semler normally plays shortstop or second base for the Trojans, but may get some time in the circle during her final high school season.
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New Castle High School senior softball pitcher Kelsie Patton (19) fires the ball toward the plate during Wednesday evening’s scrimmage at Tri. Patton looked sharp, whiffing several Titan batters, as the Trojans prepare for their season opener March 21 at Baker Park against visiting Union County.
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Tri High School softball Co-Coach Duke Falck (left) explains a point to Titans pitcher Chloe Gentry (15) and catcher Abi Busby (right) during Wednesday evening’s scrimmage against visiting New Castle. Busby is a four-year starter behind the plate for Tri and hopes to help lead her team to another Class A semi-state appearance.
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New Castle High School senior softball player Alyssa “Peanut” Semler (4) makes contact with the ball in front of Tri catcher Abi Busby (00) and the home plate umpire during Wednesday evening’s scrimmage at Tri. Both teams are preparing for their season-opening games next week.
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Tri High School sophomore pitcher Chloe Gentry hurls the ball toward the plate during Wednesday evening's softall scrimmage against visiting New Castle. Gentry will attempt to fill the shoes of the graduated Payton Moore in the circle as the Titans prepare for their season opener Monday against visiting Randolph Southern.
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New Castle High School sophomore softball player Madie Harter (5) motors toward third base as Tri shortstop Cheyenne Lee (4) and third baseman Kayla Craft (left) get into position to take a throw during Wednesday evening’s scrimmage at Tri. Both teams are preparing for their regular season openers next week.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

LEWISVILLE — The regular season is just around the corner for Indiana high school softball teams, and two of our local teams, New Castle and Tri, took to the diamond Wednesday evening to scrimmage against each other at Tri.

The scrimmage originally was scheduled to take place Wednesday at Baker Park in New Castle, but forecasted rain prompted the venue switch to Tri’s field, which is much better equipped to take care of precipitation so that games can be played.

The field at Baker Park was playable Wednesday evening, but the schedule change already had been made and both teams found out some things about themselves during the scrimmage in preparation for their season openers next week.

An IHSAA-allowed softball scrimmage is different than a regular game in the sense no score is kept and more than three outs can be recorded in a half-inning. But most other rules of softball remain the same and umpires still call balls and strikes and make rulings on the base paths.

The Trojans return senior starting pitcher Kelsie Patton, and Patton looked impressive in striking out several Titan batters during her time in the circle.

Other New Castle starters returning from last season, along with Patton, are Alyssa “Peanut” Semler, Madie Harter, Mackenzie Bridgeman, and Allicen Burris. A number of other players for the Trojans also got some varsity experience last year. New Castle was a Class 3A sectional runner-up to Yorktown in 2018.

The Titans must replace a number of girls who graduated in 2018 and played in four consecutive Class A semi-states, including pitcher Payton Moore who now is playing women’s basketball (and perhaps some softball, too) for Anderson University.

Sophomore Chloe Gentry apparently will be assigned to fill Moore’s shoes in the circle for Tri, and she looked pretty good in her outing against the Trojans.

Her battery mate is senior catcher and four-year starter Abi Busby, who will be expected to be one of the leaders for the Titans this season.

Every girl available on both teams saw some action in some form during the scrimmage, which is sort of a tune-up for the regular season.

Tri will open its regular season at home Monday against Randolph Southern, while New Castle begins the regular season three days later on Thursday at home in Baker Park against Union County.