April 19 started out warm, but the time the softball game between the host Fountain Central Mustangs and the Indiana School for the Deaf Orioles started, the temperature had plummeted 20 degrees and the wind was howling.
The conditions made it hard on the teams as the wind sent the ball where ever it wanted and it had the players struggling to keep their throws under control.
Fountain Central put Kendra Earlywine in the circle and she gave up a lone run on a single, a double and a sacrifice in the top first inning before retiring the side.
The Mustangs tied the game for her in their half of the inning as Marley Massey opened with a single and reached third when her attempt to steal second saw the wind take the throw from the catcher into center field.
Massey then stole home as the ball got away from the Oriole catcher to make it 1-1, but the team could score no more runs in the inning despite getting two more hits.
Earlywine gave up a walk in the second, but retired the other three batters she faced to keep the game tied, but she and her teammates blew the game open in the bottom of the second.
Sami Krout singled, stole second and scored when Kendal Rahm tripled to right field with the ball blowing past the outfielder to the fence.
Massey grounded into a fielder’s choice that erased Rahm but left her on first, from where she quickly reached third on two passed balls.
Chloe Golia walked to put runners on the corners and then Shelby Marshall walked to load the bases, but not before Massey scored on a passed ball to make it 3-1.
Maddie Medley walked, Golia stole home and then Kacey Kirkpatrick singled in Marshall and Medley with a shot to center for a 6-1 tally.
Jerzi Hershberger singled to left and then she and Kirkpatrick moved to second and third on a double steal that was followed by Earlywine helping her own cause with an infield single that scored Kirkpatrick and Hershberger to make it 8-1.
Krout then walked, Rahm reached first on a dropped third strike that allowed Ava Ginter, who was the courtesy runner for pitcher Earlywine, to score and then saw Krout move to third.
Massey singled on a blooper into center, plating Krout and moving Rahm to third.
Golia caught a pitch on the foot to get to first to load the bases, then after a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Medley doubled to center.
In the process, Rahm and Massey scored on a passed ball and a wild pitch with Golia scoring on the double to make it 13-1 after two innings.
The Orioles tried to make a game of things when they came up in the top of the third, but Earlywine struck out the first two she faced.
The third batter drew a walk and stole second with the fourth hitter singling her home.
With their bats not pushing runs across easily in the game, the visitors tried to help create a run by sending their runner to second, but she overran the bag and was tagged out by Golia to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Fountain Central added four more runs on four walks, an error, a hit batsman and two singles, one by Kirkpatrick to lead off and one by Rahm that drove in a run for a 17-2 score going into the fourth inning.
Earlywine got the first two Orioles to ground out, but then walked the next two batters before the fifth visitor to the plate doubled home a runner for a 17-3 score.
The next Oriole grounded back to Earlywine who threw to first to retire the side.
Fountain Central did not score in the bottom of the fourth as they had two strikeouts and a ground out to go along with a hit batter.
The Indiana School for the Deaf did manage to add one more run in the top of the fifth on a double and a Mustang error, but that only made it 17-4 and triggered the 10-run rule to end the contest.
Ric Walke, the head coach for Fountain Central, started off by complementing Earlywine, saying, “She pitched a good game. It was her first win for us as a varsity pitcher.”
Earlywine gave up four runs, only two of which were earned, struck out seven and walked five in picking up the victory.
Walke then looked at the game as a whole, saying he liked the attitude of his team after dropping two games over the weekend to North Vermillion and he thought that the win might give his team some momentum heading into “a pair of conference games starting in a couple days” against Seeger.