For The Tribune
The Trinity Lutheran softball team opened its season in grand style at home Thursday afternoon by pounding out 16 hits to roll 12-2 past South Decatur.
The game was called in the sixth inning because of the 10-run rule.
Cougars coach Chad Goecker was hoping his team could swing some hot bats and he liked what he saw.
After Savannah Harweger led off the bottom of the first by reaching first base safely on an error, Jodi Goecker beat out a bunt, and Hannah Deaton grounded to short to score Harweger.
Amanda Wright followed with a line drive off the foul pole down the left field line for a two-run homer. Kirsten Hoene, Vidalis Montanez, Sophia Stahl, Taylor Russell and Harwager put together five straight hits with Montanez and Russell hitting triples, and Hoene and Stall pounded out doubles.
“We really came out strong,” coach Goecker said. “We adjusted well to the pitching. I think just the excitement of when we got started, we had the big inning and then we kind of lost focus and we were way out in front of the ball. Once we calmed down we came back into it and finished it.”
Stahl led off the third inning with a home run over the fence in center field. Russell followed with a single, Harweger walked and Morgan Gabbard singled to drive in two runs.
Wright led off the sixth with a double and scored on a double by Jaryn Holtsclaw, and she scored on an infield out by Stahl to end the game.
The Cougars had eight extra base hits with Wright and Stahl both pounding out a double and home run, and both scored twice. Stahl had three RBIs and Wright had two RBIs.
Holtsclaw had three hits, one RBI and scored once, Russell had two hits and scored two runs and had an RBI. Hoene and Montanez both had two hits. Harweger scored two runs and Gabbard had two RBIs.
The Cougars received two walks and only struck out once.
“We focus hard on hitting and the girls did a fantastic job of that today. It’s just a result of what we’ve been working on,” Goecker said.
Hannah Deaton started on the mound, and with two out in the second inning, Decatur’s Sierra Lane hit a hard ground ball back to the mound that hit Deaton just above the ankle on her left leg and she had to leave the game.
Gabbard came in and struck out four, walked one and gave up three hits.
“Morgan came in and did a fantastic job,” Goecker said. “Hannah was doing a good job. We were very happy with that and Morgan did well. We induced a lot of ground balls today and that’s what we’re looking for.”
Both of South Decatur’s runs were unearned.
The Cougars (1-0) will compete in a tournament at Bedford North Lawrence tonight and Saturday. The Cougars will face North Harrison at 6:15 tonight.
“We’re excited. We’re looking forward to that tournament. It’s a good opportunity for us at Bedford,” Goecker said.