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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Late Explosion Lifts Highlands Softball to Region Win

Bluebirds Win Eighth Straight

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Anna Greenwell (4) waits on a pitch in a recent game.

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Sophomore pitcher Kennedy Baioni (5-0 overall) and the defense of the Highlands Bluebirds softball team (9-1) did its part in this victory.

Baioni struck out 14, walked just one and allowed five hits as the Bluebirds run-ruled the Conner Lady Cougars (2-9), 10-0 in six innings in 9th Region action Monday at Winkler Field. The game moved to Winkler Field because the game could not be played on Conner's field.

"Kennedy pitched a great game," said Milt Horner, Highlands Head Coach. "She was hitting spots. They got one girl to third base. We only had to make four (defensive) plays. When your pitcher is dealing like that, you don't have to play a whole lot of defense."

Conner has exploded for a combined 70 runs in its two wins. That includes a 42-26 road victory over Newport Central Catholic on April 7. Highlands moved to 4-0 in region play and Conner is 2-4.

Highlands scored its 10 runs in the fifth and sixth innings to force the run-ruling. The Bluebirds batted .444 (12-for-27) in the game. Senior Caroline Class led the way going 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and three stolen bases.

"I wish we would have started our rally sooner," said Gracie Schlosser, Highlands junior. "We face a lot of teams with fast pitchers so that's what we prepare for. So when we face slower pitchers, it's the timing we have an issue with. But once you do correct yourself, you'll get (good contact) right away."

Sophomore Carly Cramer went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored for the Bluebirds. Cramer hit a two-run home run in the sixth to finish the game. 

Highlands Seventh grader Payton Brown went 2-for-3 with a triple and RBI and junior Anna Greenwell went 2-for-4 with three RBI, two runs scored and stole three bases. Senior Bri Tharps added a triple.

Highlands stole nine bases and drew five walks. Freshman Michelle Barth walked twice and seventh grade pinch-runner Cameron Markus stole two bases.

Highlands travels to Newport Central Catholic (3-2) on Wednesday. Game time is 5 p.m.

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