ARCANUM — The Arcanum softball team beat National Trail 9-1 on Friday to keep the Lady Trojans’ hopes of a Cross County Conference championship alive.
It took a few innings for Arcanum to get the offense started, but the home team eventually got going to secure the victory.
“We came out a little flat tonight,” Arcanum softball coach Rick Stone said. “Everybody’s got prom tomorrow; we’re dealing with that. National Trail played a good game. I thought emotionally we weren’t playing inspired softball at the beginning of the game. About the fourth, fifth inning we started getting into it and realizing they were in the game.”
After a pair of scoreless innings in which the Arcanum offense stranded three runners and the National Trail offense stranded one, the Trojans broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third.
Cheyenne Aikman started the rally as she hit a hard liner off the third baseman’s glove to reach base. She then stole second and took third on a passed ball.
Loganne Stone then hit a hard liner off the third baseman’s glove took second base on an uncontested steal to give Arcanum a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs.
After a fly out for the first out of the inning, Shelby Howard hit a sacrifice grounder to score Aikman and give Arcanum a 1-0 lead. With two outs in the inning, Brittany Kinney reached on an error that allowed Stone to score for a 2-0 lead.
National Trail threatened to score in the fourth inning with a pair of singles and an Arcanum error loading the bases before the Trojans got out of the inning.
“The defense buckled down,” coach Stone said. “They got some runners on base, and they buckled down and played good defense and got us out of a jam.”
Arcanum added to its lead in the fourth inning as Cassidy Clark hit a two-out single and Aikman hit a RBI double for a 3-0 advantage.
National Trail scored its lone run in the top of the fifth with a two-out single by Maegan Rogers and a RBI double by Marisa Wilson to cut Arcanum’s lead to 3-1.
Arcanum responded in the bottom half of the inning with Josie Weaver leading off with a single, Howard drawing a walk and Kinney getting hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Emily Kolling then hit a two-RBI double to increase Arcanum’s lead to 5-1, and Madison Brandon hit a sacrifice grounder to drive in another run for a 6-1 lead.
“I expect that out of this team,” coach Stone said. “We’re a good hitting team. I expect us to put runs on the board.”
The Lady Trojans again added to their lead in the sixth inning with back-to-back one-out singles by Stone and Weaver starting the rally. Howard then hit a double to drive in one run for a 7-1 Arcanum lead.
Then Kinney drove a hard fly into center field, which bounced off the fielder’s glove to allow a pair of Trojan runners to score for a 9-1 Arcanum advantage, which ended up being the final score.
Abbie Bruns earned the win for Arcanum as she pitched the complete game, striking out four batters in the process.
Arcanum has one CCC loss this season and trails Covington by one game in the league standings. The Trojans have conference games against Tri-County North, Twin Valley South and Franklin Monroe prior to resuming their game against Covington, a rain-suspended contest the Trojans lead 2-1 in the fourth inning.
Arcanum will look to finish strong and potentially take home a league championship.
“I tell my girls you’ve got to play every day because anybody in this league can beat you on any day,” coach Stone said. “If we come to play inspired softball every game I think we’ll be there.”