The Candor softball team scored eight runs in the final three innings of its game against Sidney to win 9–2 on May 22.
“We did alright,” head coach Steve Frye said. “We struggled to try to get the timing down on their pitcher. Once we got the timing down, we started to hit the ball a little more solidly, and things work out when you hit the ball solid.”
Candor took an early 1–0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. First baseman Shelby Swartz drew a one-out walk and then advanced to second base on a base hit by shortstop Jennah Kareem.
After third baseman Searra Allen popped out to short for the second out of the inning, center fielder Asia Carkendall was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Starting pitcher Anna Greeno then drew a walk to force in a run and hand Candor the lead.
The team had another chance to score in the bottom of the second with a runner on second and two outs, but Swartz grounded out to third to end the inning.
Greeno held Sidney in check through the first four innings by only allowing a pair of singles during that stretch. Candor expanded its lead in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of runs to take a 3–0 advantage.
Greeno and second baseman Kailyne Edwards led off the inning with back-to-back singles and would advance to second and third, respectively, on an error. Next up was right fielder Emily Henry. who hit a fly ball to right field that was caught, but was not deep enough to score Greeno from third. Following Henry was left fielder Aryan Peters, who grounded out to the pitcher for the second out of the inning.
The baton was then passed on to catcher Addison Aman, who plated Greeno and Edwards with a base hit to give Candor a 3–0 lead.
Sidney responded with two runs of its own in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 3–2. However, Candor regained its three-run advantage in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run home run off of the bat of Allen to lengthen the squad’s lead to 5–2.
Frye said Allen is an incredible athlete.
“When she is focused in and swinging at good pitches, she can hit,” Frye said. “She can hit the ball as well as anyone. Sometimes it just takes a little bit for her to focus in, and once she’s locked in, though, she hits the ball well. She’s a very strong kid. She can beat out a bunt, and she can hit home runs and everything in between.”
Candor broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth with a four spot. With two runners on and one gone, Swartz hit a single that drove in both runners to extend the team’s lead to 7–2. Swartz eventually advanced to second on and error and scored on a base knock by Kareem. Kareem’s hit was mishandled in the outfield, which allowed her to advance to third base. The next batter was Allen, who singled and drove in Kareem to bring the score to 9–2.
Greeno retired Sidney in order in the top of the seventh to seal the victory for Candor. She pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out two.
“She hit her spots very well today,” Frye said. “When I asked for [a pitch] outside, she hit outside. ... Her changeup was pretty good today. Kept a couple of them off balance.”
Allen went 2-for-4 with the homer, scoring once and driving in three. Kareem went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double. She scored twice and drove in a run as well. Aman went 2-for-3 with a two-bagger, a stolen base, a run scored and two runs batted in. Swartz went 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, two runs scored and two RBI.