By Justin Whitaker
AVON — The Avon Orioles’ bats were swinging Monday night.
Avon notched 17 hits en route to an 8-0 victory against rival Brownsburg in the opening round of Hendricks County Softball Tournament.
The Orioles tallied 13 hits within the first three innings as they built a 6-0 lead.
“It’s hard to get a hit every time but it’s not hard to put the ball in play every time when you’re a varsity player,” Avon coach Jenny Shayotovich said. “We’ve really tried to work on understanding situations and being able to make good decisions at the plate.”
After leaving a lot of runners on base in its first slate of games, Avon did a better job managing that aspect against Brownsburg.
“It was nice to see,” Shayotovich said. “We’ve hit the ball fairly well but we’ve left a lot of runners on, so we’ve really been working on executing and just focusing on hitting. I thought we did such a better job not leaving runners stranded and doing our job.”
The Bulldogs struggled with their cohesion throughout the evening.
“It was a combination tonight of just not having everything working at the same time,” Brownsburg coach Alyssa Huffman said. “When we would get a little something going with the bats and our pitchers came out putting us in a good position, we weren’t able to back it up defensively. When we had the defense, we couldn’t get the offense. Just couldn’t get everything firing at the same time.”
Senior Taylar Kelso drove in the first run of the game in the first inning for Avon on a single. Seniors Sadie Foster and Lizzy Snodgrass each contributed an RBI in the second inning for a 3-0 Orioles lead.
Avon then doubled their scoring in the third when Cassidy Larkin, Hannah Goddard and Mackenzie Johnston each brought runners in to score.
Brownsburg pitcher Rachel Fiscus took control in the fourth and fifth innings, allowing only two hits as the Bulldogs’ defense also did their part.
“It was just confidence,” Huffman said. “We have a great team defensively, they all have fantastic skills. It’s mental toughness and not trying to do it all at one time.”
Carlie Weaver and Natalie Kroll each notched a hit in the fifth and sixth innings respectively, but Brownsburg was unable to capitalize.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kelso brought in a runner and then scored the next play later on a wild pitch.
Snodgrass threw a complete game for the Orioles finishing with eight strikeouts and only allowing three hits.
“She did a great job,” Shayotovich said of her hurler. “Right away in the first inning she took command and looked confident. When you hit location and you hit spots it’s really easy to be a great pitcher.”
After nearly the entire opening week of the Hendricks County Tournament was wiped away because of weather, Monday night’s game was a make up game for that tournament.
“I’m not even sure when we’ll have to play the next game,” Shayotovich said laughing.
Avon and Brownsburg were scheduled to play its Hoosier Crossroads Conference game last night but because of inclement weather the game was postponed to this evening.