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Frankton sputters in home opening loss to Huskies

Mar. 20—FRANKTON — One day after hitting five home runs and scoring 26 runs in its season opener at Delta, Frankton returned home to face a very different opponent in the 13th-ranked Class 3A team from Hamilton Heights.

While plummeting temperatures kept the fans in the stands shivering, it was a future Division I pitcher who put the Eagles' bats on ice.

Senior Lily Roush allowed just four hits to Frankton while striking out 13 batters, and the Huskies capitalized on Eagles' fielding errors for an 8-4 victory Wednesday evening, snapping a four-game losing streak to the Eagles.

Roush will pitch collegiately at IUPUI next year and represented a stark contrast from the previous day's outing in Delaware County.

"Yeah, we went from 38 (mph) to 60 real quick, and not temperature-wise, either," Frankton coach Jeremy Parker said. "We knew we had to make adjustments. She's a really good pitcher going D-1 at IUPUI, but we can't wait until third time through the order to make adjustments."

The game-time temperature was a shade above 45 degrees, but that number had fallen to 35 by game's end. With impending weather expected Thursday, that day's game against Knightstown has been moved back to Friday when the weather is expected to warm into the 60s.

Although she did not pile up the strikeouts, early on Frankton junior Paige Parker was trading zeroes with Roush until the fourth when the visitors jumped on the Eagles' starter after a pair of miscues in the field.

Roush led off the inning with a single to left before freshman Hannah Dent reached on an error by Claire Duncan at third. After an infield fly for the first out, Kassidy Schakel and Isabel Morrow reached on consecutive infield singles, scoring Roush and loading the bases in the process.

Hailey Hall was hit by a pitch to force in the second run before a throwing error allowed two more to cross the plate. Addie Doak capped the five-run rally with an RBI ground out to shortstop.

Four of the five runs were unearned, but the inning spelled the end of the day for Parker, who was relieved by sophomore Grace Kessinger.

"They scored five runs on two hits," Coach Parker said. "Paige threw a little bit yesterday, and it was cold. I don't know what her pitch count was, but we were trying to keep an eye on that. Grace has earned her spot, and she's pitching well, too."

The Eagles finally put a tally in the hit column and a dent on the plate against Roush in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Avalee Stanley walked, stole second and scored one out later on a ringing double off the right-center field fence by Jilly Hilderbrand.

The Huskies answered with a run off Kessinger in the fifth, but Frankton rallied with three runs in their half of the fifth.

Gracie Smith led off with a walk and eventually came around to score on a passed ball. Two outs later and with the bases loaded, Hilderbrand came through again with a bloop double into shallow center that scored two runs, pulling the Eagles within 6-4.

Kessinger recorded a scoreless sixth, aided by catcher Aubree Engelking denying the third steal attempt in as many tries by the Huskies. The sophomore was then one out away from sending a two-run game to the bottom of the seventh, but Schakel lined a two-run double of her own off the center-field fence, extending the Heights advantage to 8-4.

Roush then worked around a one-out double by Duncan in the seventh to complete the win.

"It is what it is. We're building to get better for sectional," Coach Parker said. "We need to play teams like that."

Contact Rob Hunt at

rob.hunt@heraldbulletin.com or 765-640-4886.