Sydney Griffin has a hard time picking a favorite between hitting a home run or striking an opponent out.
Good thing for the Lincoln standout she had plenty of time to do both Thursday.
Griffin slugged one of the Golden Eagles’ two home runs and recorded 14 strikeouts as Lincoln halted Richmond 8-0 in softball.
“I think they’re both pretty equal,” Griffin said.
“It always feels good to do my best. I like to play with this team. They’re a good group.”
That was evident Thursday.
Flawless in the field and productive at the plate, Lincoln jumped to a 6-0 lead by the third inning.
The Golden Eagles took advantage of a Richmond error — and an RBI single by Kerrigan Neff — to plate three first-inning runs, and Haley Hall knocked in another run in the second inning.
Sydney Miller then smacked the first Lincoln home run in the top of the third, a two-run shot that cleared the center-field fence.
“There were a lot of positives out there today,” said Lincoln coach Scott Griffin. “A lot of positives.”
Those positives included a Lincoln defense that made no errors and limited Richmond to three base hits — all singles by Mackenzie Taylor, Paityn Farris and Ryanne Spicer.
Taylor led off the bottom of the fourth with Richmond’s first base hit on a bunt. No Red Devil advanced beyond second base.
Griffin had eight strikeouts through three innings as she retired Richmond’s lineup in order the first time through. Griffin struck out the side in the first and third innings.
“It always helps to have your team there backing you up. It takes a lot of the pressure off,” Sydney Griffin said. “That’s what my team does.”
Tayler Pennington made a diving catch in right field in the fifth inning, and Hall ended the game when she dove to catch a foul pop from the catcher position.
Griffin powered a home run to left field in the sixth that made the final score.
“We’re looking at our program, our kids and how they’re progressing. We’ve been focusing on some of the weaknesses we’ve seen in some of the first couple weeks of the season,” coach Griffin said.
“It was a good, clean game for us, and that’s one of the things that coach (Jason) Hall has really been focusing with kids defensively, and it’s paying dividends.”
Griffin and Karlee Shank had two hits for the Golden Eagles, who play Hagerstown on Saturday in the first round of the Wayne County Tournament at Centerville.
“Their coaching staff has done a tremendous job the last two or three years in developing their program, and they’ve got a very, very good weapon in that circle,” RHS coach Kyle Ingram said of the Golden Eagles. “The other equalizer is, they have eight or nine really pretty good sticks.”
Richmond sophomore Keryn Siler tossed 41⁄3 innings in relief, giving up two runs on four hits with five strikeouts.
The Red Devils (3-4) open North Central Conference play Saturday with a home doubleheader against Kokomo.
“We still have goals left to attain. One is to compete for a conference title,” said Ingram, whose Red Devils won the NCC championship in 2012, a first for the program. “It’s my job to get them ready. And today’s performance, it doesn’t define who we are. It defines who I am right now, and I’m not real happy with the performance that I’ve given.
“With that being said, (today) we go to work, and we’ll see where we’re at come Saturday.”