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Titans top Vikings for third straight win

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Blue River Valley pitcher Makayla Franklin goes into her wind-up as Tri's Kennedy Peggs (7) gets ready to move forward from second base in the top of the third inning during Thursday evening's softball game at Tri. It was a home game for the Vikings, but Peggs and her teammates had most of the fun as the Titans won 27-2 in five innings.
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Tri pitcher Kalie Barber fires the ball toward the plate against a Blue River Valley batter in the bottom of the third inning during Thursday evening's softball game at Tri. It was the first time in the circle for Barber this season and she was the winning pitcher in the Titans' 27-2 victory in five innings over the Vikings.
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Tri senior Kaley Harrison (17) lines a hit in front of Blue River Valley catcher Sydnie Kirk (7) in the top of the third inning of Thursday evening's softball game at Tri. A veteran on three consecutive semi-state teams (and one state finalist), Harrison did well in her first game on the diamond this season as the Titans (as the visiting team on their own field) defeated the Vikings 27-2 in five innings.
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Tri's Cheyenne Lee (4) makes contact with the ball in front of Blue River Valley catcher Sydnie Kirk (7) in the top of the third inning as three Viking players and a couple of the umpires watch during Thursday evening's softball game at Tri. It was a home game for Blue River and Kirk blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, but Lee and her Titan teammates scored 27 runs to win convincingly 27-2 in five innngs.
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Blue River Valley pitcher Makayla Franklin hurls the ball toward the plate against a Tri batter in the top of the third inning of Thursday evening’s softball game at Tri. It was a home game for the Vikings, Franklin was the starting pitcher, and absorbed the loss in the the Titans 27-2 win in five innings.

By RON GREESON - For The Courier-Times

LEWISVILLE – For Tri’s Class A No. 3 softball Lady Titans, it was another night of winning domination.

Tri exploded offensively in the top of the first inning Thursday night and never looked back in posting a run-rule victory over a building Blue River Valley team to win for the third time in four days to start the 2019 regular season.

Tri was tied with fellow Tri-Eastern Conference (TEC) member Lincoln for third in the preseason Class 1A poll. Five of the nine conference members were ranked in the polls.

Originally set to be played on the home field of the Lady Vikings, the game was moved to the home synthetic turf field at Tri, so the Lady Titans were the visiting team on a cold and blustery early spring day, the first full day of spring. Tri scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning and went on to post a 27-2, five-inning run-rule decision.

Tri has won its first three games by a combined score of 50 runs to just five, and now has some time off for spring break, and some breaks in practices, all before resuming game action on April 3 at North Decatur.

“Our team this year has the same goals as in past years, to be competitive in all our games, and to improve every day, work hard every day, and to become a better team,” said Tri Co-Head Coach and Athletic Director Bryan Peggs. “This year’s team is composed of girls who are good ballplayers, who have been working hard, and this year, with our graduation losses, we have a lot of girls getting their chance to make their mark. They have ability, and their chance has now come to excel.”

A series of walks, stolen bases, a wild pitch and an error allowed the Titans to take the lead with multiple runs, then came a run-scoring single from Abi Busby, a two-run double from Zoie Prince, and another double by Kennedy Peggs.

Later, Taylor Craft had a run-scoring single in a 10-run inning.

In the bottom of the first inning, with Kalie Barber in the circle for Tri, Stephany Redwine had an infield single for Blue River, then with two outs, senior catcher Sydnie Kirk, an all-Mid-Eastern Conference (MEC) player last season, drove an outside pitch over the right field wall for a two-run homer.

With the score at 10-2 in favor of Tri, the Lady Titans added nine runs in the top of the second inning. Peggs had an infield hit early in the rally, and later, Cheyenne Lee had a bases-clearing, three-run triple. When Peggs came to the plate again in the second inning, she hit a two-run single, and Barber followed with a double.

In the third, Anastasia Sorrell hit a two-run double for Tri, and senior Kaley Harrison contributed a two-run single in the six-run rally for the Lady Titans. A bases-loaded walk brought in a Tri run in the top of the fourth inning, while Lee had an inside-the-park home run and Harrison a triple in the top of the fifth inning.

Barber pitched all five innings for the Lady Titans (3-0), with Busby catching the first three innings, and Sorrell the last two. Makayla Franklin pitched the first four innings for the Lady Vikings, with Kirk catching, before Kirk went in the circle for the fifth inning, and Redwine moved to the catching position from shortstop for the last inning.

Other Titan players to see action in the game were Chloe Gentry, Madison Hill, Hannah Frost, Morgan Richey, and Cayla Claar.

For Blue River, other players to see action in the team’s first game of the season were Sophi Alexander, Sadie Sexton, Jessie Lanzer, Victoria Zentz, Kaitlyn Turpin, Nakayla Witham, Shelby Witham, Caitlyn Adkins, Kyle Liles, and Kaitlin Dobbs.

In the school’s third year of high school softball, the Lady Viking team is again led by Coach Courtney Stultz, who commented about this year’s team after the finish.

“We were excited to play this game and start the season,” Stultz said. “This is the most players we have had in the program, and a good group of freshmen to work with. We won one game last year, and just hope to show some improvement this year, and win a few more games.”

The team’s second scheduled game was a home matchup Friday night with Seton Catholic before taking a break in the season for spring break. Game action is set to resume April 10 at Eastern Hancock in a MEC game.

Peggs spoke at greater length about Tri’s hopes for a serious run at the TEC championship.

“We are hoping to compete for the conference, but there are a number of very strong teams in Centerville, Union County and Lincoln, as well as Knightstown right here in Henry County,” Peggs said. “We are just taking this season one day at a time, we work hard to get better each day, with each practice and each game.”

The break in the school schedule for Tri also means some days off for Tri softball players.

“We are giving the girls a long weekend off, then will practice Monday and Tuesday, before taking some more days off later in the week,” Peggs explained.

“Once we get back the next week, we will have two games, and then the schedule gets very busy, and it will be a lot of fun,” the Titan head varsity coach said.

“As for the conference, we have most of our TEC games at the very end of the schedule, which I think is an advantage for us,” Peggs concluded.

Tri starts TEC play at home against Northeastern on April 11, then hosts Hagerstown on April 25. Winchester visits the Titans on April 29, and Tri goes to Union County on April 30.

After playing at Eastern Hancock, Blue River plays at Wapahani on April 15, then hosts Shenandoah on April 18.