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Putnam County junior Monica Monroe slides safely into home plate in front of Midland catcher Ashley Kyle during the first inning of the Lady Panthers’ 17-1, five-inning victory Tuesday in a Class 1A Putnam County Regional semifinal. NewsTribune photo/Genna Ord
Putnam County junior Shelby Yepsen delivers a pitch to Midland’s Kirstyn Ozga during the Lady Panthers’ 17-1, five-inning victory Tuesday in a Class 1A Putnam County Regional semifinal. NewsTribune photo/Genna Ord
GRANVILLE — The Putnam County softball team has been hitting well lately. But the Lady Panthers took it to another level Tuesday.
No. 1-seeded PC pounded out 20 hits as it routed No. 4-seeded Midland 17-1 in five innings in a Class 1A Putnam County Regional semifinal.
“I think we came and gave it our all,” said PC junior Monica Monroe, who went 4-for-5 with a triple, four RBIs and three runs. “Maybe not in the first inning, but after that first inning when they scored, we just hit the ball almost better than we ever hit it, and it was awesome.”
The Lady Panthers sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the first inning, and sent another 13 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the second inning.
Putnam County added two runs in the third and one in the fourth.
Nine of the 12 PC players to bat recorded a hit, and all nine PC starters scored at least one run.
“I’m really happy with the way they hit the ball today,” PC coach Chris Walker said. “They seem to be seeing the ball well and their discipline in the box is much better.”
PC junior pitcher Shelby Yepsen allowed a run in the first inning when she walked lead-off hitter R.J. Judd before allowing a single to Kirstyn Ozga and a sacrifice fly to Emily Rock.
After that, Yepsen dominated the Lady Timberwolves.
Yepsen closed the game with four perfect innings and finished with seven strikeouts.
“Shelby got through the first inning. She missed a few — no big deal — but after the first inning she pretty much shut them down,” Walker said. “Between that, solid defense and lots of hits, you make a feasting on that.”
With the win, the Lady Panthers (18-6) advance to Saturday’s 11 a.m. championship game against the winner of today’s semifinal between No. 2-seeded Woodland and No. 3-seeded Marquette.
“We’ve seen them both. We have notes on everything,” Walker said. “With Woodland, you know what you’re going to get — a hard thrower in (Katie) Starkey, pretty solid defense and a pretty good catcher behind the plate in Sara Spaniol.
“With Marquette, they’re never going to go away. They’re not going to give up. The (Carly) Oakes girl, we had a little bit of trouble figuring her out at first the last time we played them, then we kind of zeroed in.”
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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