Richmond learns something about itself each and every softball game.
Thursday’s lesson? The Red Devils have depth.
Freshmen Keara Henderson and Grace Townsend each delivered key hits, Courtney Morgan worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in the eventual game-winner and Richmond edged Lincoln 4-3 for the Devils’ fourth straight victory.
Henderson swatted a two-run double into left field to snap a scoreless tie in the top of the second inning, while Townsend had two hits and an RBI single in the third.
“Freshmen stepped up big time,” said RHS coach Kyle Ingram.
Add pitcher Elissa Tilton to that list.
Tilton threw a complete game, scattering six hits with six strikeouts as Richmond improved to 4-0. She also pitched her away out of a one-out, bases-loaded situation in the second, getting a strikeout, then inducing a flyout to right fielder Chloe Bennett to escape unscathed.
“It’s nice that we’re getting a chance to play some younger kids, and they came through huge for us tonight,” Ingram said.
“When you start getting into the latter part of our conference season, and you’ve got doubleheaders, it’s nice to know, if you’ve got a kid who is not feeling well, or go down with a little injury or something, we have kids we feel are going to step in and be ready to play. That’s always a good thing.”
Richmond held a 3-2 lead heading into the seventh inning.
Henderson led off with a single, and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Mackenzie Taylor.
Emily Gaddis singled and Bre Wilson was hit by a pitch, bringing Morgan to the plate. The senior worked the walk, securing what turned into a critical insurance run.
Tilton quickly retired the first two Golden Eagles of the bottom of the seventh, but Haley Hall smacked a triple into the gap in right-center field, then scored on a ball in the dirt at home plate.
Tilton put the game away, though, with a grounder back to the circle.
“There were a couple of situations where we had runners in scoring position and didn’t capitalize on it,” said Lincoln coach Scott Griffin. “They (the Red Devils) were in that situation. They did capitalize. That was, in my opinion, the difference in the game.”
Kristen Meal also tripled and had an RBI for Lincoln (6-3), with Casey St. Clair going 2-for-3 with a run scored and Haley Crutcher knocking in a run.
Sydney Griffin threw a complete game for the Golden Eagles and struck out five.
“Across the board, they (the kids) recognized what kind of a game we were in, and we like those challenges,” coach Griffin said.
“Kyle has a good team. They are tough outs.”
Lincoln plays host to Saturday’s Wayne County Tournament. The defending champion Golden Eagles face Northeastern in the opening round.
Richmond opens its North Central Conference slate with a road doubleheader Saturday at Kokomo. The Red Devils are the reigning NCC champions.
“We have a huge, huge conference doubleheader Saturday at Kokomo,” Ingram said. “We’d love to get off on the right foot there, too. It’s a long road trip, but hey, that’s part of the deal.”