By RYAN INGRAM
The Charlestown Pirates scored in all but one inning, gave up only one hit and had three home runs as they shutout Brownstown Central to win the Class 3A Salem Sectional 12-0 on Thursday.
The win gives Coach Kevin Zollman his first sectional title as skipper of the Pirates — and it came on his birthday. The sectional crown is Charlestown’s first since 1997.
“This win is very special to me,” Zollman said after his team was presented with the trophy. “These girls hit the ball well and played hard together.”
Charlestown hosts the winner of the Greensburg Sectional — either South Dearborn or Rushville — in Tuesday’s one-game regional.
The Pirates wasted no time putting their mark on their seventh sectional title in school history. Alyssa Price led off the game with a single past first base and pitcher Alli Webster followed with a line-drive double off the leftfield fence to give Charlestown runners at second and third with no outs.
Carly Price pushed the first run across with a scorching single past the Braves shortstop Lisa Scott. Freshman catcher Bethany Hall placed a hit just over third base to bring in Webster for an early 2-0 Charlestown lead.
Webster allowed the first batter to reach on balls in the bottom of the first inning, but promptly retired the next three.
Charlestown broke the game wide open in the second. Kaitlynn Henning led off with a walk and moved to second when Leah Sherrill was hit by a pitch. Alyssa Price batted in Henning with a fly that fell just in front of the centerfielder. A sharp grounder off the bat of Webster was too much for Scott to handle and Sherrill scored. After Carly Price popped out to second, Hall doubled over the head of the left fielder to score Alyssa Price.
With two out and two on, outfielder Morgan Ashby sent a line drive over the fence in dead center for a 3-run home run.
Lexi Logsdon, who went 3-for-4 on the evening, followed that blast with one of her own to left-center giving the Pirates a 9-0 advantage
Webster gave up the only hit the Braves recorded in the bottom of the second, a soft liner up the middle by Maeleigh Tidd, but Webster struck out two to avoid the threat.
A leadoff walk by Sherrill started the third inning before the game was delayed for 20 minutes due to rain. When play resumed, Bailey Bonebright, who came in as relief for starter Kourtney Branaman, walked the next three batters to give Charlestown a double-digit lead.
Hall grounded into a fielders choice, but plated Alyssa Price to make it 11-0 Charlestown.
Webster retired the Braves in order in the third and fourth innings. She struck out four in a stellar one-hit performance.
“We wanted to come out and stay on top the whole time because we only beat them 3-0 in the regular season,” Webster said. “We had a lot of adrenaline going from last night and that kept our bats going.”
Alex Hutchinson added the third home run, of the pinch-hit variety in the 5th, stretching the lead to 12-0.