Cougars improve to 4-0 after home win over Providence


In softball, it takes strong pitching, timely hitting and excellent defense to be successful.

Trinity Lutheran coach Bob Tabeling says the Cougars are performing well in all three phases of the game, and that is why they are off to a 4-0 start this spring.

Trinity scored single runs in the first and second innings and pairs of runs in the third and fifth to defeat Providence 6-2 at home Tuesday.

“I really like that we’re getting runs from the top half of our lineup, which we expected. Bailey (Tabeling) has been getting it all started, and from that standpoint, we’ve had other ones follow up and drive in runs,” Tabeling said. “It may not be a hit every time, but it’s scoring that runner from third base, so it has been big for us. I knew our infield would be good, and so far, we’ve played some really nice defense.”

After Providence scored an unearned run in the top of the first, Tabeling led off the bottom of the first with a single, advanced on a Pioneer throwing error and scored on Madison Keith’s groundout.

Maddie Adams was safe on a fielder’s choice in the second inning. She moved to second on an infield out and third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.

Grace Lance walked in the third, Keith was safe on a fielder’s choice, Olivia Cain singled to drive in Lance and Dianna Munoz hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 4-1 game.

Tabeling collected her third hit of the night leading off the fifth and later scored on an error, and Keith was safe on a fielder’s choice and scored on a single by Munoz.

Lyric Hertweck hit a solo homer for the Pioneers in the top of the seventh.

Lance went the distance on the mound as she allowed two hits and one earned run, had seven strikeouts and walked three.

“Grace has done an outstanding job pitching,” coach Tabeling said. “She’s 80 pitches in a seven-inning game, and that’s what we ask her to do, get through each inning in 12 pitches, and she did today.”

Lance, a sophomore left-hander, has pitched four complete games this spring.

“In softball, whatever side you’re on, hitters really don’t like the outside pitch,” she said. “It’s a hard pitch to get around, too, so I stay outside.”

She said pitch location depends on who the batter is and who the umpire is and how they call pitches.

“I think the thing this team is special about is we all work together very well. We’re not only friends on the field, we’re friends in school and we talk to each other every day. We’re always communicating, lifting each other up,” she said. “Everything has to do with teamwork. My defense is always behind me, especially Bailey. My shortstop is always behind me, talking to me, telling me how good I’m doing.”

Lance said she does a lot of scouting.

“I’ll go and look up film of people hitting and what they hit, and if they hit inside, I’m not going to throw inside. Everyone has a weakness to so you just have to find it and pinpoint it down,” she said.

Tabeling had three hits and scored two runs, Keith scored twice and Adams scored once. Cain, Munoz, Adams and Jasmine McCormick had one hit each. Munoz had two RBI, and Keith and Cain each had one RBI.

Coach Tabeling said, “The things we expected have been coming. We’ve had good defense, good pitching and we’ve been able to score runs here or there that have made a big difference.”

The Cougars will play in a round robin at Rising Sun on Saturday, facing Triton Central at 11 a.m. and the Shiners later in the day.

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