The first inning set the tone.
Richmond loaded the bases with one out, but could not score.
Pendleton Heights did not have that problem.
The host Arabians ended the Red Devils’ 2013 campaign with a 10-0 victory in five innings Monday as play opened in the Class 4A softball sectional at Pendleton Heights.
Richmond looked poised to score early — and score first — but Pendleton hurler Brooke Wendling induced a pair of pop-ups to leave the bases loaded in the top of the first inning.
The Arabians pushed three runs across in the bottom half of the frame to take a lead they never relinquished on the way to earning a spot in today’s semifinal round opposite New Castle, a Monday winner over Anderson.
“We felt like we could really put the ball in play and execute,” said RHS coach Kyle Ingram.
” … Their program (Pendleton) is just solid top to bottom. Their coaching staff is full of great people. We’re gaining on it, but at the end of the day we’re one and done.”
Richmond finished 16-7. The Red Devils once again contended for the North Central Conference championship this season.
Ingram has a positive outlook for the future.
“There are a lot of bright things to look forward to the next couple of years,” he said.
Pendleton’s big inning was a five-run outburst in the third.
Alexandra Slick cleared the bases with a three-run double then as Pendleton pulled ahead 9-0.
The Arabians scored again in the fourth as sophomore Sydney Windlan crossed home plate to make the final score.
Richmond tried to extend the game in the fifth after back-to-back singles by Emily Gaddis and Bre Wilson. But Pendleton reliever Bailey Benefiel stranded the duo with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
Wilson also doubled for RHS with a long strike that nearly cleared the fence in center field, while Gaddis and Grace Townsend had two hits each. Mackenzie Taylor, Courtney Morgan and Ellisa Tilton also had hits for Richmond.
The Red Devils graduate six in Brooklyn Taylor, Gaddis, Wilson, Chelsea Schwegman, Nikki Smith and Morgan. It was a senior class that helped the Red Devils earn a first-ever NCC title in 2012.
“I feel like we’ve left with a lot,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of talent left, and I hope that the team keeps building, because I know they can.”