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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Friday Highlands Round-Up: Softball Records Huge Win over Ryle

Baseball Downs Ludlow

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Gracie Schlosser gets in position at first base in a recent game. She had the game-winning sacrifice fly in a 5-4 win over Ryle on Friday.

The Highlands Bluebirds softball team (19-5 overall) fell behind 4-0 entering the bottom of the second in a 9th Region battle against the Ryle Lady Raiders (10-6).

But the Bluebirds rallied for a crucial 5-4 victory at Winkler Field. Highlands scored twice in the bottom of the third and three in the bottom of the sixth. Highlands junior Gracie Schlosser hit a sacrifice fly to right to score sophomore Kennedy Baioni for the game-winning run.

Highlands ended the game in the top of the seventh with a double play. Highlands junior shortstop Anna Greenwell made a nice grab on a line drive and threw to Schlosser at first to double the runner.

"Anna did not have a good game offensively, but she made some plays that probably only a handful of shortstops can make," said Milt Horner, Highlands Head Coach. "She didn't let her off day offensively mess up her day defensively."

Baioni picked up the win moving to 10-2 on the season. Baioni struck out nine, walked two and allowed five hits and one earned run. The Bluebirds made the game's lone error.

"Their pitcher (senior Caitlin Creech) had us completely off-balance," Horner said. "She was doing a nice job of throwing change-ups. Our hitters that were carrying us all year weren't doing much unfortunately. We started executing some things offensively (later in the game). Kennedy was a little bit off early. She walked a couple girls and hit one and that's not like her. But after that, she was dealing."

Highlands batted .333 (9-for-27) in the win. Senior Bri Tharps and seventh grader Payton Brown both went 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead the way.

"It was really exciting," Tharps said. "We started out really slow and eventually, we starting getting into a rhythm of the game. We started putting the bat on the ball. Our defense was really strong. We were able to get three outs quickly. That's why the game went by so quick."

Highlands plays at Carroll County (4-5) on Saturday. Game time is Noon.

Highlands 7, Ludlow 0:

The Bluebirds (13-10) took care of the Panthers (12-9) in the Coach Conner Classic at Covington Catholic in three innings.

Senior Evan Rom (1-3) threw a complete game picking up the pitching win for the Bluebirds. He struck out five and walked one.

"Evan Rom throw well. He was able to get ahead in counts," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "Offensively, we were patient. We swung at good pitches. We had a couple timely hits. All in all, it was a short day, but a good day. We continued to take good approaches at the plate and the pitcher threw strikes."

The Bluebirds batted .444 (4-for-9) in the win. Seniors Braden Becker and Dom Robinson both had two runs batted in. Senior Vance Moore and junior Ryne Wiseman scored twice. The Bluebirds also took advantage of six walks.

"Coach Baioni came to practice one day and was talking about taking deep breaths and being relaxed at the plate," Becker said. "That's really helped us tremendously. It takes the pressure away and allows you to focus and pick up the ball out of the pitcher's hand."

Highlands takes on the undefeated host Colonels (20-0) in the Coach Conner Classic at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

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