MERRILLIVILLE | Griffith softball coach Don Bence could not have been happier to have Erica Yost coming up to bat with the bases loaded in the eight inning against Andrean.
“I don’t know if there is anyone else on this team I would rather have up in that spot with the way she’s been swinging the bat,” Bence said. “It didn’t surprise me that she got that hit.”
Yost delivered a one-out, bases-clearing triple to the gap in right-center field to put the Times No. 5 Panthers ahead for good in their 10-7 win against the 59ers in Northwest Crossroads Conference action on Thursday.
“The biggest thing this group has improved on is their fight,” Bence said. “They will not give up. This team in the past would have laid down after they gave up the lead, but this team is resilient.”
The Panthers loaded the bases thanks to a walk, two singles and a fielder’s choice. Yost then drove an 0-2 pitch to right center that brought in Jamie Rex, Alexis Atkinson and Rhiannon Kozy to score.
“It was a little outside, I just threw my arms out there and went with it,” Yost said.
Griffith (8-3, 5-2 NCC) appeared to have won the game in the top of the seventh with a three-run home run from Alyssa Gebo. Gebo’s blast came with two out and put the Panthers ahead 7-5. Andrean pitcher Brenna Boyle had retired 15 Panthers before Griffith started its rally.
The 59ers (4-4, 4-4 NCC) tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run home run to left off the bat of No. 8 hitter Hannah Kulsea.
Andrean scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings, and a two-out, two-run triple from No. 9 hitter Christiana Jerry put the 59ers ahead 5-4 in the fifth.
“We fought back every inning to get back in the game, and then we had the lead,” Andrean coach Brooke Baker-Runyon said. “It was a roller coaster game.”
A three-run home run from Rex capped a four-run first inning for the Panthers. Four of the first five Griffith hitters reached base to open the game.
Sammi Adams, Gebo and Rex each had two hits for Griffith. Adams and Rex each scored twice.
Jessica Adamczyk had two hits and scored three runs for the 59ers. Boyle added a solo home run in the fourth.