Central High School softball was back home at Terry Floyd Field Tuesday, April 23, for a district matchup with Shelbyville. After taking a 1-0 lead early, the Lady Raiders broke off with four runs in the fifth inning to defeat the Golden Eaglettes 5-0.
"Slow start, we struggled to get on this pitcher a little bit," Coach Brandon McWhorter said. "Defensively we played well."
Katie Rutledge put CHS on the board in the bottom of the first inning off a grounder to center field from Keri Munn. After that, neither team was able to cross home plate for several innings.
Munn helped limit opportunities for Shelbyville with a strong night on the mound, throwing eight strikeouts. Munn gave up six hits but held the Golden Eaglettes to zero runs.
Behind her, the CHS fielders had 21 putouts and committed only one error to keep Shelbyville off the board.
"I think we played defense really well," Munn said. "We struggled hitting in the beginning but in the end we came through."
The girls came through in the bottom of the fifth. With Ashley Evans on third and Rutledge on second, Munn got it started with a fly ball down the right field line. Reaching first base on an error by right fielder Chloe Thomas, Munn sent in both runners to make it a 3-0 game.
On the next at-bat, Haley Richardson drilled a shot out to center field for a double, bringing home Munn's courtesy runner Alexcia Barnes. Richardson later scored on another Shelbyville error by center fielder Taylor Sanders to finish the inning up 5-0. This turned out to be the 6.5-inning game's final run.
The first-place Lady Raiders will be back at home Thursday, April 25 for a district showdown with second-place Lawrence County. Thursday's game is the team's last standalone regular-season game, with the Coffee County Classic tournament closing out the regular season schedule this weekend.
"We're still taking it one game at a time. We've got a good team in Lawrence County coming in," McWhorter explained. "We wanna finish the season strong."
CHS finished the game with 11 hits, led by Rutledge and Haidyn Campbell with three each.