Softball Sectional Preview

Athenians battle Bulldogs in sectional opener


Crawfordsville softball has made progress in 2023 under first year coach Mackenzi Landrum. It’s not all about the wins and losses for the young Athenians but more about the process of being a better team than when they began the season. That part is evident as Cville has made strides this season. Now Crawfordsville (3-22) will look to get a sectional win under their belts when they travel to Tri-West on Monday to compete in the Class 3A Sectional 25 tournament.

Crawfordsville did receive a favorable first round opponent as they’ll take on the lone non-Sagamore Conference team in the sectional in the Monrovia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs come in with a record of 3-17 on the year. For Landrum and the Athenians she is preaching the same motto she has all season with her young team.

“We just have to come ready to play and play with confidence in ourselves,” she said. “We have to do what we can do and control what we can control. If we do that and the little things well like we have at points this season I think we’ll come out on top.”

Cville enters the sectional batting .279 as a team. Senior center fielder Halle Elliott leads the way with a .400 average. Freshman catcher Christina Susdorf has a had a stellar first season both offensively and defensively. Susdorf bats .371 and is the team leader with 19 RBI’s. Shortstop Celeste Moore bats .347 while senior Brooklyn Mills totes a .323 average to go 13 RBI’s and a pair of home runs.

Landrum believes that her team is saving some its best softball for when it matters most here at the end of the season.

“It’s been real fun to watch these girls grow throughout the year,” she said. “They’ve gotten comfortable out on the field and have a confidence with whatever they’re doing. It’s a process with this group but they continue to trust it and give us everything they have and that’s all that we ask for.”

The Bulldogs come in batting .269 collectively. On the season Monrovia averages just 3.8 runs per game compared to 5.3 a game for the Athenians. Monrovia is led by senior Ashley Lewis who bats .444 on the season and has 24 hits. Junior Piper Carpenter hits .373 while sophomore Kaitlyn Mattocks sits at a .339 average. Mattocks is the leading pitcher also for the Bulldogs. She’s thrown 51 innings this season and walked 92 while striking out 74.

The winner between the Athenians and Bulldogs will take on Lebanon in the semi-finals on Wednesday. On the other side of the bracket due Danville withdrawing from the tournament, Tri-West will get an automatic bye into the semi-finals where they will take on Western Boone.

It’s been a long while since the Athenians have last won a sectional game. Landrum notes how even just a single win in the post-season could go a long way for her team in the future.

“A win would be huge for us and it would go a long way,” Landrum said. “We’re starting to re-build this program and it could give us even more confidence the boost we need heading into next year. It can show the girls that we belong.”

The Athenians and Bulldogs will get things going at 6 pm on Monday from Tri-West.