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Indians top Argylls in eight innings

By CHUCK LANDIS - clandis@chronicle-tribune.com

FAIRMOUNT — A scoreless pitchers dual through six innings Monday afternoon suddenly became offensive with Mississinewa’s softball team holding on for a 5-4 eight-inning victory at Madison-Grant.

The Indians pushed through two runs in the eighth for a 5-3 advantage, then staved off another Argylls comeback bid in the bottom of the inning to defeat their county rivals for the first time in at least four years. M-G scored once and had runners on second and third bases when the game ended.

Mississinewa (6-1, 1-0 Central Indiana Conference) prevailed despite giving up a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh and some sloppy baserunning. Two Indians baserunners were thrown out at third base, but they also took advantage of two Argylls errors in the eighth to score the winning runs.

“The problem we had tonight was we had some people at the plate doing their thing and not what they were asked to,” Ole Miss coach Steve Miller said. “And we had some independent baserunning.

“I’m happy we stuck it out, but I’m not happy with the baserunning,” he added.

Madison-Grant (4-5, 0-1) forced extra innings with the help of freshman Chelsea Parker’s two-run home run that made it 3-2, and then the tying run scored on an errant throw from the Indians centerfielder to third base. But Indians pitcher Jenna Berryhill’s single through the first base hole brought in the go-ahead run, and an insurance run scored on a throwing error by the Argylls third baseman.

“I’ve never personally beat Madison-Grant,” said Berryhill, a junior who had a no-hitter through five innings. “My team was always there for me, and they always will be.”

Riley McKee’s bases loaded walk on four pitches forced in the first run after Argylls coach Danny Justus had Madison Stanley intentionally walked to load the bases. After McKee’s walk, Madison Dotterweich hit a two-run single into right field and make it 3-0.

“This game hung on the coaches,” Justus said of his strategy move, “and we weren’t able to overcome it. This was a big game and I’m happy with the kids; we fixed some things and made plays.”

Berryhill struggled with her command even in making her no-hit bid and issued five walks to go with four strikeouts. Madison-Grant’s Hannah Ogden legged out an infield hit in the fifth to break up the no-hitter.

“My drop curve was working pretty well,” she said. “I just knew my team had my back.”

Parker’s homer just cleared the left field fence and it was just her second varsity plate appearance. Earlier in the game, she pinch-hit for Mikenzy Stanley and drew a walk, and she was called on again to bat for Stanley in the seventh. She had been on the mend from rotator cuff surgery after injuring the shoulder while sliding during summer league softball.

Zoey Barnett was matching Berryhill pitch for pitch through six innings finished up allowing six hits and four walks while striking out five batters.

Ogden finished with two hits and Ellie Alcala had a double among her two hits. Morgan Conliff and Sarah Duncan each had two hits.

Madison Stanley and Dotterweich each hit doubles for the Indians and Lexi Cruzan and Maya David each had base hits.

Madison-Grant (4-5, 0-1 in CIC) will host Frankton at 5 p.m. today.

Mississinewa (7-1, 1-0) travels to Blackford at 5 p.m. today.