For The Tribune

Trinity Lutheran’s softball team scored 12 runs in the first inning and cruised to a 16-0, five-inning win against sectional rival Crothersville on Monday afternoon.

The Cougars sent 16 batters to the plate in the first inning and scored their runs on seven hits, five walks and a Crothersville error.

Maddie Bell, Vidalis Montanez, Morgan Gabbard and Sophia Stahl all had a hit, a walk and scored two runs in the inning, while Montana Engelking had a two-run single.

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Several of the Trinity players made their first start of the season, and coach Chad Goecker said he was pleased to see them contribute to the win.

“They performed real well,” he said. “For a lot of them this is their first time out. They got a chance to play so we learned a lot about running bases. It’s really tough to hit a (slow) pitcher like we saw tonight. They reacted and did real well. We’re really pleased with the way they performed tonight.”

Bell batted leadoff and was on base four straight times with three hits and a walk, she scored four runs and had an RBI.

“She’s really coming along,” Goecker said of Bell. “She’s going to do well for us this year. We just switched her to the left side (batting), so all of this is pretty much new to her.”

Every position in the Cougars’ batting order either got a hit or scored a run as Stahl also had three hits, scored four runs and had an RBI.

Montanez, Gabbard and Engelking each had two RBI. Montanez, Gabbard, Stahl, and Whitney Cobb scored two runs each.

Gabbard and Stahl hit doubles.

Gabbard had 10 strike outs, allowed one walk and one hit.

Kaitlyn McVey had the Tigers’ only hit, a single past the shortstop with one out in the second inning.

The only other base runners the Tigers had was a walk to Brittany Ross in the fourth inning and when McVey reached first base on a dropped third strike in the fifth inning.

Tigers coach Brian Huey said he sees his team making progress with the bats and gloves.

“We’re starting to show improvement on our offense,” he said. “It’s not looking like much, but we’re starting to make a little bit more contact. Everyone that is coming up is at least making contact with the ball. There’s little things like that.

“I’ve only got nine girls on the team, and six of these girls have little to no experience. We’re working with what we’ve got. They’re showing improvement all around in different areas. We’re picking things up here and there.”

The Tigers (0-3) will host Lanesville on Wednesday and travel to New Washington on Thursday for Southern Athletic Conference games.

The Cougars (5-1) will host Indianapolis Lutheran tonight.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.