By Ryan Palencer
BROWNSBURG — Behind an aggressive offense and solid defense, the Bethesda softball team made some serious noise in its Class A Sectional 58 opener, defeating University 15-1 Tuesday night.
“I was very pleased with the girls’ effort,” Bethesda coach Terry Benge said. “It is a challenge to have such a huge speed difference with pitchers. Thursday, the speed will be much faster. They kept the ball in front of them and played a balanced game. I was very pleased.”
Bethesda took the momentum from the onset, scoring three runs in the first inning. Emily Hayden knocked in Jordan Benge with a single before Sara Harrison and Hayden scored on walks by Lauren Buck and Christina Johns.
After a one-two-three inning in the field, the Patriots took complete control of the game by scoring five more runs in the top of the second.
In a repeat performance, the scoring began with J. Benge coming home on a Hayden single. Mattie Jones and Hayden scored on walks by Buck and Johns. Heather Gordon scored on a wild pitch, while Buck scored on a throwing error.
Bethesda put up another five spot in the third. Gordon, Johns, and Lizzie Gill had RBI walks, while Buck drove in one with a single. In addition, J. Benge picked up a two-run single.
Benge was pleased with the total effort of his squad’s offensive output.
“(Scoring 15 runs) puts on some positive momentum as we move on to the championship game,” Benge said. “We need to build on that. We did a good job at the plate and were aggressive on the bases.”
Kendra Okey scored on a wild pitch in the fourth. The Blazers finally entered the scoring column in the frame as well, as Dana Nehring-Terrell crossed the plate on a throwing error. Bethesda’s Meagan Chesterson scored on a throwing error to complete the 15-1 victory.
Along with the offensive explosion, sophomore Kylie Minton was dominant from the mound.
“We have done a good job of resting (Minton) quite a bit lately,” Benge said. “It’s a rhythm game for her and she was in a good rhythm today. She has done a good job of pitching down hill lately. It is great because she is just a sophomore.”
With the victory, the Patriots advance to the sectional championship, where they will battle Lutheran at 5p.m. Thursday.
“Even though it is a different opponent, we approach the game the same way,” Benge said. “That is how we have approached it all year. A fly ball is a fly ball, no matter whose bat it comes off of. If we are aggressive and stay in front of the ball and are patient offensively, it is anyone’s game.”