Steady improvement. That is what Fountain Central softball coach Ric Walke has been wanting to see early in this season. The Mustangs have done just that, and it culminated into a 13-6 win over Crawfordsville on Thursday.
After two innings, the Athenians had a 3-1 lead, but the Mustang offense exploded for eight runs in the top of the third inning which made the score 9-3 in favor of Fountain Central.
“It feels good to get that first win,” Walke said. “We’ve been confident in our offense all season and it took some time just to get back to seeing some live pitching for that confidence to come back. When we can jump out and get an early lead like we did tonight, that makes it easier for us to settle in. We always stress putting the ball in play and force the defense to make a play and we did a good job of that tonight.”
Maddie Medley, Kacey Kirkpatrick, and Kendra Earlywine all had two RBI’s for the Mustangs (1-2, 0-2 WRC) in the win.
For the Athenians (0-2) coach Kevin Kellerman, even in the loss, saw some positive things with his young team.
“We put together some quality at-bats even when we got down early in the count,” Kellerman said. “I told the girls when we got down big ‘this is where we find out how competitive you are.’ The last three innings we battled hard and I loved what I saw.”
Kirkpatrick not only did work at the plate, but also pitched a complete game for the Mustangs where she struck out 14 batters and gave up six hits. The inexperience for the Mustangs in the circle is what plagued them in their first two contests, but Walke was very impressed with his freshman pitcher in the win.
“She never got rattled tonight,” he said. “Everytime she gave up a hit, she came back and got the next batter. Like the rest of our team tonight, she was playing with confidence and I hope that carries forward.”
The Athenians will be back in action tonight as they host Attica. Fountain Central will also be back in action tonight as they travel to North Newton.