For The Tribune
Trinity Lutheran coach Chad Goecker likes the way his softball team has started off the season hitting the ball.
The Cougars collected 12 hits in five innings to whip Southwestern (Shelby) 17-7 on Friday afternoon.
“We’ve been really concentrating on hitting the ball, and that has shown,” Goecker said. “The girls have hit the ball very well. I’m very pleased with (12 hits). The first game we had 14 hits (against Orleans).”
After the Spartans used three hits to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, the Cougars batted around in the bottom of the inning as they bunched hits by Jodi Goecker, Savannah Harweger and Kirstin Hoene, one walk, and two Southwestern errors to score five runs.
Trinity increased its lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the second, then scored four runs in the fourth and six times in the fifth to win by the 10-run rule.
Sami Newmister, Amanda Wright and Sydney Stahl drove in runs with hits in the fourth.
Wright drove in two runs with a double in the fifth while Harweger had a triple in the inning, and Goecker ended the game when she walked with the bases loaded.
Harweger had a single, double and triple, and walk, and scored four runs. Wright added two singles and a double, scored two runs and had three RBI, Hoene scored three runs, Russell had two hits, and Goecker, Taylor Reynolds and Newmister scored two runs each.
“I feel very confident,” coach Goecker said. “We’re strong throughout our lineup. Every girl in our lineup can hit the ball.”
Each of the nine starters were on base at least twice, seven of them had hits, eight of them scored and seven of them had at least one RBI.
“Defensively, we’re just making a lot of silly mistakes and errors,” coach Goecker said as his team committed four errors. “We’ve got time to fix that, and we’ll be a much better team moving forward.”
Morgan Gabbard was the winning pitcher allowing 10 hits, four earned runs, while striking out four and walking two.
McKayla McGuire hit a three-run homer in the third inning, and Annie Cox went 4-for-4 to lead the Southwestern offense.
“Morgan is pitching well,” Goecker said. “She needs the defense to help her out, and we’ve not been doing that for her.”
The Cougars (2-1) will travel to Crothersville on Tuesday.