GOSHEN — For the first four innings of Wednesday’s nonconference softball contest, things were looking pretty good for the Goshen Redskins.
On a chilly, windy spring day at Shanklin Park, Goshen led Elkhart Central, 2-0 heading into the top of the fifth.
But the Blue Blazers outscored the Redskins, 19-1 over the final three innings to win, 19-3.
“We’ve lost our heart, and we need to find it again,” Goshen coach Cassie McCormack said.
The Redskins fell to 3-3, and are struggling with their hitting after coming back from a week off for spring break, McCormack said.
Goshen got on the board in the home half of the first. With one out, Brooke Miller walked and stole second. With two outs, she scored on a Taylor Caouette single.
The Redskins increased their short-lived lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of a Central error.
But then the Central bats starter to come alive, as the Blazers took the lead in the top of the fifth with three runs, including a two-run inside-the-park homer by Brittney VanderHoeck.
Central tacked on three runs in the sixth and explode with 11 in a marathon top of the seventh.
Aubrey Gardner, a junior, went the distance in the circle for Elkhart Central, striking out six.
Gardner said the key to staying warm was simple.
“Layer up and keep your arm loose between innings,” Gardner said.
Central coach Brent Bardo said his team took some time to get its bats in gear.
But once the Blazers did that, Bardo was pleased with the results. Central pounded out 20 hits on the night.
Goshen had eight hits. Jessica DeStefano was 2-for-4 and Ali Nemeth was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
In the J.V. contest, Goshen fell to Central, 21-1. Caitlyn Doyle had nine strikeouts and had a triple to score the only run of the game for Goshen. Cassie Brown went 1-for-3 with a single on the night.
Goshen is in action next on Saturday at the Lady Eagle Invitational at Adams Central.
Central 000 253 11 — 19-20-2
Goshen 100 101 0 — 3-8-4
Pitching: (Central) Aubrey Gardner (W) six strikeouts. (Goshen) Taylor Caouette (L).
Hitting: (Central) VanderHoeck 4-for-5, three runs scored. (Goshen) Jessica DeStefano 2-for-4, Ali Nemeth 1-for-3, two runs scored.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 533-2151, ext. 325 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at dvantress_tgn.