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Connersville softball earns second Argyll championship

The Connersville High School softball team shows off its trophy, won on Saturday at the Argyll Invitational tournament at Madison-Grant High School. The Lady Spartans defeated Maconaquah in their tournament opener, 7-3, before beating tournament host Madison Grant, 11-10 in the championship.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

FAIRMOUNT — There was a bit of a drive ahead of the Connersville High School softball team, as it boarded the bus for the trip to Fairmount, Indiana on Saturday.

But it wound up being worth it.

The Lady Spartans made the 170-mile round-trip to Madison-Grant High School to compete in the Argyll Invitational softball tournament, and the home portion of the trip was a happy one, as the team brought with them championship hardware.

In the tournament opener, Connersville knocked off Maconaquah High School by a score of 7-3.

In the championship, the Spartans found themselves locked in a dual with the host Lady Argylls. Scoring eight times in the fourth inning, CHS wound up needing every one of those runs, and then some, eventually coming out with an 11-10 victory, and the championship trophy.

Connersville trailed in the title game 5-0, heading into the bottom of the fourth, but put itself in charge with the scoring outburst.

Hannah Sizemore and Tori Hanson both reached base on one-out walks, getting things started. A walk to Katie Steele loaded the bases for Ashley Ruble two batters later, the CHS senior chasing Sizemore and Hanson home with a single. Paige Dunaway followed with a single, loading the bases again. 

Allison Woytik then cleared the bases with a double, tying the game at 5-5. Woytik would have an easy trip to the plate, courtesy of a home run by Jeri Ellis. That round-tripper was followed by a solo shot from Madison Fields.

Connersville added two runs in the fifth, Woytik getting in on the home run derby with a two-run blast of her own. 

The final run for the Spartans originated off the bat of Fields, who socked her second home run in as many at-bats, this one again a solo knock in the sixth.

In spite of the 10-5 lead after five innings, Connersville fans had some white knuckles in the end, as Madison-Grant rallied for two runs in the sixth, and three more in the seventh, before getting a strike out to end the game. The Argylls had the tying run on second and the go-ahead tally standing on first when the game came to a close.

Dunaway was 4-for-4 in the championship, scoring twice. Woytik, Fields, Sizemore and Hanson each had two hits in the game.

Connersville reached the title contest via another big inning, this time plating five runners in the top of the sixth inning against Maconaquah in the early game.

Woytik was the catalyst against the Lady Braves, the senior shortstop smacking a pair of home runs, driving in a total of five runs. Her first, a two-run slam, gave CHS a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Her second ocurred in the pivotal sixth frame, sending two runners home ahead of her.

The Spartans managed only one hit beyond Woytik’s two home runs, as Sizemore wound up with a single.

Ellis started on the mound in the semifinal win, going the distance to earn the victory. The CHS senior stepped onto the hill in relief of Ruble in the championship, earning that win as well.

Connersville improved to 15-9 with the two victories. The Spartans close the regular season with road games against Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference opponents Batesville (Monday - results not available at press time), Rushville (Wednesday) and Lawrenceburg (Saturday).