|Bluebirds Earn 10th Victory of Season|
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands seventh grader Kaitlyn Dixon (22) fires home in the win at Newport Central Catholic on Wednesday. Junior shortstop Anna Greenwell (left) gets in position.|
The Highlands Bluebirds softball team (10-1 overall) scored early and often dominating the host Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (3-3), 21-1 in 36th District action.
Highlands moved to 2-0 in district play and 6-0 in 9th Region play with its ninth straight win. NewCath is 1-1 in district play. The Bluebirds have won the last three meetings in the series dating back to a 12-5 loss to NewCath in the 36th District championship game May 26, 2017.
"District games are big games and I think that probably got them motivated a little bit more to get going," said Milt Horner, Highlands Head Coach. "When we have our hitting shoes on like that, we're really tough to beat. It's one through nine."
Sophomore Carly Cramer (4-1) started and retired all six batters she faced striking out three. Seventh grader Kaitlyn Dixon pitched the final three innings striking out five, walking three and allowing one earned run and a hit.
"(Coach Horner) mostly talks to me about how I have to own the field when I'm in the circle instead of getting down on myself," Dixon said. "I just trust where (coaches and teammates) are telling me where to throw (the ball)."
NewCath put together a little rally in the fourth inning with one out. But Dixon coaxed a ground out to Anna Greenwell at shortstop. NewCath sophomore Mia Buemi tried to take third on the throw. But seventh grader Mogan Pompilio made a nice throw to freshman Michelle Barth at third for the out to end the inning. Sophomore Casey Berry scored from third on the play for NewCath's lone run.
Highlands batted .483 (14-for-29) in the game. The Bluebirds led 4-0 after one and 13-0 entering the third inning allowing the staff to put in reserves. Highlands finished the game with eight in the fifth inning. Highlands started faster after not scoring in the first four innings in the 10-0 win over Conner on Tuesday.
"Our mentality was so much better (Wednesday)," Greenwell said. "We came as a team rather than playing as individuals. Right from the start, we played hard and fast. That's what got us there."
Greenwell led the Bluebirds at the plate going 3-for-4 with a walk, three-run home run, double, four runs batted in and four runs scored. Junior Gracie Schlosser went 2-for-2 with a double, three RBI and a run scored and senior Bri Tharps went 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored.
Cramer walked twice, tripled and had two RBI. Senior Caroline Class scored three runs walking three times and stealing three bases. Seventh grader Camryn Markus added two runs.
Highlands plays host to Cincinnati Turpin (1-7) on Thursday at Winkler Field. Game time is 5 p.m.
Highlands 17, Newport 2:
The Bluebirds (5-3) won their first 36th District game of the year beating the Wildcats (1-7) in three innings at Highland Park.
"We talk to our guys about playing our game regardless of who the opponent is," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "We did a good job of that. Offensively, we got our timing down and put some good swings together."
Senior Dom Robinson (1-0) pitched for the first time this year for the Bluebirds. Robinson struck out four, walked two and allowed one hit and two earned runs. Highlands committed one error behind him.
"Basically, I just had to go in and throw strikes making sure I did not let them get hot," Robinson said. "I kind of struggled in the beginning. But over the next couple innings, I dialed it in and made sure I got the job done."
Highlands batted. 733 (11-for-15) in the win. The Bluebirds took advantage of four walks, four hit by pitches and two Newport errors.
Senior Jason Noe went 2-for-2 with two runs batted in and a run scored for Highlands. Senior Vance Moore doubled and junior Drew Hack tripled. Seniors Braden Baioni and Owen Carris also batted in two with senior John Barth and juniors Nick Robinson and Jack Schneider scoring two runs each.
Highlands travels to Scott (3-6) to start the Doc Morris Invitational. Game time is 5:30 p.m.