Central softball’s home opener on Tuesday against Liberty went out of the park but not in favor of the Indians.
The Indians fell 12-4 against the Bluejays in a game that saw Liberty launch three home runs, one of them being a grand slam. After going 4-1 at the Cameron tournament, Central (4-2) coach Kendra Hodgin saw enough out of freshman pitcher Breanna Dudley to give her the nod for the home opener.
“I thought she was fresh and ready to go,” Hodgin said. “She looked good at practice yesterday. She’s confident, and we felt like that was the best move for right now.”
Dudley was pulled from the game when it was just 4-1 during the middle of the game. Liberty (6-1) sophomore Ryenne Walker blasted a grand slam off of junior pitcher Brooklyn Leer shortly after. Walker would blast a three-run home run later on in the game.
While the score may not be encouraging for Hodgin and her team, the Indians fought back to make it an 8-4 game. Hodgin said she could tell this comeback attempt gave her team new life.
“You could see them come alive a little bit,” Hodgin said. “We’re a high-energy team, and when we’re high energy, we win, but we were not high energy today. We were waiting for that big moment to happen. When we cut the lead in half — 8-4 — (we) started to come alive, but it just wasn’t enough.”
Central senior catcher Madison Cowman thinks this game served as a refresher, and this loss will be used as fuel to get better.
“We’re definitely going to use it for motivation,” Cowman said. “We’re going to play them again, and we definitely want to come out and beat them next time. We know what they have now. They’re a very solid team, but I think we got them next time.”
Cowman went 1-3 at the plate for the day and said she saw plenty of things that this team can build on.
“We know what we need to work on now at practice tomorrow and going forward,” Cowman said. “There’s a lot of good things that we got out of this game, there’s a lot of bad things we know we need to fix. Overall, there’s lots of potential in this team. I definitely believe in us and that we’re going to succeed this season.”
Central plays Thursday against Park Hill South (4-3) at Central High School.