Lady Highlanders ice down Corydon Central, 6-5
On a day when temperatures hovered two degrees above arctic, Floyd Central’s softball team provided some chill of its own here last Thursday afternoon.
After falling behind, 3-0, in the first three innings to Corydon Central, Floyd Central rallied for three in the top of the fifth and went up 4-3 on an unearned run in the sixth. The visitors didn’t have much time to celebrate as the Lady Panthers bounced ahead in their half of the inning by plating Katie Crecelius and Susan Yates.
In the top of the seventh, Corydon senior pitcher Sam Mathews got the first two batters out with weak knocks in the infield. Amanda Baumann knocked a triple and Mathews issued a free pass to the next batter. The next Lady Highlander slugger grounded one to freshman third baseman Dana Beaven, who missed her target at first, allowing two runs to cross.
Corydon’s shortstop, Yates, made a nice diving catch with a runner on third to end the inning.
Pinch hitter Brandi Keller got a one-out single and her pinch runner, Cassie Mathews, moved to second on a wild pitch. Gerdon reached on an error at third and Mathews was called out at the plate on the recovery by Floyd’s second baseman. Lady Highlander sophomore Katie Maggard recorded her seventh strikeout of the game on Yates to end the game.
Last year Maggard struck out eight Corydon batters en route to a 2-0 victory.
“I thought we played pretty well despite the conditions,” first year coach Joseph Oakes said. “We had a lot of errors and I’m not sure if it was because of the cold or nerves or what. The only thing that really disappointed me is that I thought we had the game won and we let (Floyd Central) back into it.
“For the first time out as a coach and the first time out as a team, I thought we played pretty well and hit pretty well. We just made too many errors at bad times. Looking back I probably shouldn’t have sent the runner in the seventh so that was an error on my part. I thought the ball got further away than it did and they had to make a perfect throw to get her out at the plate; which they did.”
Crecelius, a senior who made the start as battery mate with Sam Mathews, was the only player on either team to record more than one hit on the day as she recorded a pair of doubles and a bunt single in four plate appearances.
“(Katie) hit the ball really well. She did everything I asked her to do,” Oakes said. “She usually turns on the ball and on both doubles she took outside pitches to the opposite field and just did an outstanding job.”
Oakes, who replaced Kim Briscoe after last year’s super 25-6 team that finished as 2A regional finalist, also commended the work of his pitcher.
“Sam said she only had three pitches that were really working for her because she couldn’t get a decent grip on the ball in the cold. So to only give up one earned run and of their five hits, two were infield singles and only one ball was ripped. I can’t ask for better pitching than that.”
Oakes expects to go with Mathews and Alisha Mosier in a 1-2 rotation, with Maria McAfee and Beaven seeing some pitching action from time to time as well.
“I’ve never been a believer in the theory that the softball pitch doesn’t put as much stress on the arm, so we’ll use some other girls besides Mathews and Mosier. Those two will obviously see most of the action but we don’t want to send them out there fatigued,” Oakes said.
Mosier, Mathews, Lindsey Beaven, Keller and Yates all went 1-3 on the day and Jenna Lillpop was 1-4. Dana Beaven was robbed of a base knock on a rare 1-6-3 put-out and had a sacrifice while Tabby Gerdon reached on an error for an 0-3 afternoon. Gerdon made up for it on defense, however, with a magnificent diving stop in the fourth inning. She had trouble getting the ball out of her glove and the throw to first was a tick late, but Oakes said he play was huge.
“I think if she misses that ball that they score two runs in that inning. Instead she gets it and they leave the bases stranded when Sam gets the girl on a strikeout,” Corydon’s coach said. “That was a super play by Tabby.”
The Lady Panthers take a two-week break before entertaining Eastern on April 5 in a 5:45 start.
— Corydon Central graduate Kayla Straub opened play recently at Lindsey Wilson College. Straub, who was a member of last year’s regional finalists and plays third for the Blue Raiders, went 2-3 with a double, a sacrifice and a run scored in 3-0 and 3-2 victories against Lambuth University (TN).
Two weeks ago in Myrtle Beach she had two walks, two sacrifices, an RBI and a single as well. Unfortunately the freshman injured her shoulder on a slide into second base and will be out a few games.
Lindsey Wilson currently has a 9-8 record and a 5-3 mark in the Mid-South Conference.