Greenwood softball defeats Franklin

Greenwood senior Anna Pritchett started Wednesday’s game in center field, but her mid-game move to shortstop proved crucial.

“Her speed allows her to cover more ground,” Woodmen co-coach Greg Norwood said. “She plays wherever we need her.”

Pritchett made two defensive gems and hit a three-run triple to lead the host Woodmen to a 6-2 victory over Franklin in Mid-State Conference softball action.

Her second catch, going back into left field, killed a rally attempt, leaving two Franklin runners stranded in the sixth inning.

“Those plays are pretty normal for her,” Norwood said.

Pritchett’s triple gave the Woodmen a 3-1 lead in the second inning.

“I was just looking to not over-swing, get to my extension and score my teammates,” Pritchett said. “I just wanted to drive the ball. We struggle to have continuous hitting, but at the right time we were able to string a couple together.”

Junior pitcher Taylor Dick hit a home run in the third inning to make it 4-1.

“She definitely helped herself,” Pritchett said. “It’s always nice when the pitcher can hit, too.”

Greenwood sophomore Courtney Hankenhoff had three hits, including a run-scoring triple in the fourth inning.

The Grizzly Cubs (6-15, 1-11) had beaten Greenwood 8-4 Tuesday for their first conference win.

“The difference is we put a lot more pressure on them yesterday,” Franklin coach Kayla Craft said. “Today, we weren’t getting our bunts down. We weren’t reading the defense well. We weren’t taking bases when we should have been taking bases. We weren’t aggressive. We struck out 10 times looking, I think.”

Norwood said Dick’s pitching definitely got better as the game went on.

“She had more strikeouts, more control and was hitting her spots more,” Norwood said. “Once we stopped throwing the ball around like crazy, we calmed down and played good enough to win.”

Norwood said the Woodmen (7-11, 2-10) had several overthrown balls Tuesday.

“We had much better control today,” Norwood said. “Not perfect because we still had five overthrown balls, but we don’t want the girls to be afraid to throw the ball, because that’s sometimes how we have to get our outs.”

The two teams will meet against in a Class 4A sectional opener May 23 at Mooresville.

“With our county, our conference, and sectional, we play some teams so many times,” Norwood said.

Freshman Adeline Blackwell had two hits for the Grizzly Cubs. Bryleigh Carlisle came in relief of fellow freshman pitcher Elizabeth Chumbley and held the Woodmen scoreless the last 2 1/3 innings.

“We’re really young, but I do see improvements,” Craft said.