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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos courtesy Laura Pentecost Tory Foster leads the Fremont softball team in hitting with a .444 average. She also has a team-high seven home runs and has 35 RBI.

  • Fremont’s Rhett Evans has emerged as one of the best hitters in the state with a .494 average.

Saturday, June 02, 2018 1:00 am

Fremont emerges as spring power

JOSH PATTERSON | For The Journal Gazette

Roger Probst faces a bit of a problem this summer. Fortunately for the Fremont athletic director, it's a concern of the best type – how to find room for a bunch of new hardware.

A couple of weeks after the Eagles' tennis team won its first sectional championship, the softball team followed suit, then knocked off South Central to add a regional title just one day after Fremont's baseball team won its sixth sectional crown.

“It's created quite a whirlwind in the last couple weeks of school with everything else that's going on,” Probst said. “We also had a sectional track champion in shot put (Kenny Laws), so we kind of throw that one in there as well. It's been an extremely fun spring.”

With a school population of about 300 students, Fremont fields a number of multisport athletes out of necessity. Despite a combined record of 23-58 in volleyball, football and boys and girls basketball, Ron Smith wasn't surprised his softball team set a school record for wins, surpassing those sports with a 26-5 record entering today's Class A Frankfort Semistate.

“With the seniors I have now, I've seen this for four years,” Smith said. “(The sophomore class) had been playing a lot of travel ball and they've become better players. I thought this year, we would be able to put something together. With as well as we've been pitching, it's really been kind of expected.”

Sophomore Autumn Godwin (16-4, 1.68 ERA, 154 strikeouts) has stepped up as the ace, winning all three of her postseason outings. She's backed by senior Baleigh Weidenhamer (7-1, 2.57 ERA), who pitched the Eagles to victory in their sectional opener.

Fremont excels in all three phases, sporting a .964 team fielding percentage on defense in a season that's also seen nearly every offensive record broken. Senior Tory Foster leads the team in batting average (.441), home runs (school-record seven), hits (49) and runs (42), while her 35 RBI stands just one behind sophomore Maddie Beeman's team-best 36.

Teams can't just focus on shutting down Foster, not with the Eagles' .355 team batting average. As Foster explained, with Godwin in the circle and a deep, talented offensive attack, every girl wearing the Fremont red and black relies on one another to succeed.

“Autumn is an amazing pitcher, and every girl is thankful to have her take pitching so seriously,” Foster said. “The underclassmen have really stepped up. We seniors can count on the underclassmen as much as they can count on us, so that's super important.”

Although the Fremont baseball team doesn't show quite the same depth as its softball counterpart, what it does have, according to coach Justin Bock, is one of the best players to ever put on a Fremont uniform in Rhett Evans.

“(Evans is) a phenomenal kid,” Bock said. “He doesn't say much, but when he does it's meaningful. The kids certainly know that when Rhett's in the lineup, we have a chance.”

Evans, one of five Eagles seniors, ranks 39th statewide with a .494 batting average and holds the school records for career runs, career hits, career and season triples. His career batting average stands just thousandths of a point from breaking the school record, and he could break the career doubles and stolen bases records as well against Morgan Township in the Class A Caston Regional semifinal.

Pride accompanies all his records, but Evans noted there's a little extra meaning with the career hits record, previously held by current Indiana Tech player Glen McClain.

“It's an honor to be able to beat that record,” Evans said. “In middle school, I used to go to practices and watch him hit. I looked up to him, and that one means a lot to me.”

Now armed with three new trophies, Probst expressed optimism at what Fremont's spring success could mean moving forward.

“It's been a real uplifting in spirit, getting three in one season,” Probst said. “We've had three (sectional championships) in a school year before, but to have three in one season, it's brought a lot of excitement not only to the school but the community as well. It shows the kids that we can win here too.”