Greenfield-Central High School junior Michaela Ballman hit seven home runs last year, so showing power at the plate in Monday’s season opener against Speedway wasn’t a surprise.
But Ballman went above and beyond anything she did last season, tying state records with four home runs and 10 RBIs in the Cougars’ 23-4 win.
She started off her day with two 2-run homers in the second inning, then had a 3-run blast in the third inning and another 3-run shot in the fourth.
“It’s completely insane. I did not expect any of that to happen at all,” Ballman said. “At that moment, I was not going up to hit home runs. I was just going up to get a hit. I was trying to get at least a single.”
For good measure, Ballman also added a double to complete a 5-for-5 night.
“I had a feeling of, wow, did I really do that,” Ballman said.
The four home runs tied the mark previously set by Pendleton Heights’ Chelsea Held in 2007. Three others have driven in 10 runs in a single game: Whiting’s Suzy Stewart (1991), Center Grove’s Jennifer Campbell (1994) and Leo’s Haley Bowers (2013).
“You don’t expect anything like this, but it was one of those nights,” said Greenfield-Central coach Jason Stewart. “You could tell that every swing, from batting practice into the game, she was on it last night.”
Last season, Greenfield-Central went 27-5 and won a sectional championship, as Ballman hit .385 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs. The Cougars received votes in this week’s Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Class 4A poll.
“The kid works her butt off. To see your kids do that, it’s pretty special,” Stewart said.
Ballman plays travel softball with the Indiana Stealth and hopes to play in college.
Follow IndyStar producer Phil Friend on Twitter: @Phil_Friend.