Carnage continues as SC steamrolled by Clarksville
Since Clarksville last lost a Class A sectional title in softball — in the 1997-98 season when they were defeated by South Central, 11-1 — the Lady Generals have been on an absolute tear, outscoring the competition, 148-16.
The carnage continued Thursday as No. 2-ranked Clarksville won its own sectional trophy for the fourth consecutive year with a 9-0 shutout of the Lady Rebels.
Sophomore twirler Candace Bain fanned the first eight batters she faced and wound up with 17 total in her 25th victory of the season. The win pushed Clarksville’s record to an eye-popping 26-0-1, with the tie coming against Floyd Central in the opening game of the season (it was called due to darkness).
“She’s a good pitcher. She’s going to make you go after bad pitches, and that’s why she’s so good. Unless you are a disciplined hitting team, you are going to have problems like we did tonight,” said South coach Bob Zumar.
“Clarksville is an excellent ball club. We have no shame in being beat. We made a lot of mistakes that we haven’t made in who knows how long. You can’t give a team like this nine or 10 errors. You can’t give a team like this two errors. The bottom line for today was that this team is just good to play like we did.”
Clarksville advances to Saturday’s Forest Park 1A Regional and will play the winner of the Jac-Cen-Del Sectional in the second game.
The Lady Generals got all the runs they’d need in the third inning. Kaci Bain walked and moved to second on a fielder’s choice. Autumn Combs and Heather Branham both hit balls in the infield however, indecision by the fielders allowed them to reach safely. Then Madison Dickman came through with a double to the gap in left center for two RBI.
Clarksville, which defeated South 7-0 earlier in the year, added four more runs in the fourth and three in the sixth to seal the 9-0 victory.
The lone hit for the Lady Rebels (11-10) came from freshman Samantha Troutman, who rapped a single deep in the hole at short in the fourth frame. Catcher Brooke Kingsley was drilled just above the ankle by a Bain fast ball (producing a softball-sized knot in a matter of seconds) in the fifth, and Xcalibur Lollar drew a walk in the sixth for the only other SC base runners.
Freshman Brittany Tuell got the loss, which dropped her record to 11-8.
“Our starting nine are all ninth and tenth graders, so there will be no excuse for next year. I think we’ll be a much better ball club next year. You just have to be patient with them,” Zumar said.
“We don’t see ourselves going downward. With the girls that we have coming in and what we have, we should be getting better and better every year. That’s our goal.”
— South Central jumped aboard the “Hit Train” to upend Graceland Christian in semifinal action at 1A Clarksville.
Powered by a four-run third inning and a pitching gem by Brittany Tuell, the Lady Rebels shut out Graceland, 6-0.
Tuell fanned 13 and took a perfect game into the seventh inning, where it was broken up by a seeing-eye single to left by Julie Beckley.
“(Tuell) has missed some games in the past few weeks, but she really came through against Graceland,” South coach Bob Zumar said.
The Lady Rebels’ Marketa Marion walked and was driven in on a sacrifice by Melissa Biesel for the game-winning RBI in the second inning.
South sent 10 batters to the plate in the third, with Samantha Troutman, Kim Beanblossom, Tuell and Shannon Bruner all coming across for the 5-0 lead.
“We hit the ball well and played some good defense, but we’ll definitely have to play like this or better to beat Clarksville,” Zumar said. “We think if we come out ready to play and don’t commit as many errors as we did last time that we can play with this team.”
C’ville shoots down LHS
Lanesville needed a near-perfect game to defeat Clarksville in the semifinal round. For the Lady Eagles, the contest was anything but perfect.
Lanesville coughed up six errors, and pitchers Brittany Mix and Brittney Ridge combined for at least nine wild pitches with runners on base. To add insult to injury, Clarksville scored its first nine runs with two outs on the board. When all was said and done, the undefeated Lady Generals (25-0-1) won going away, 14-0.
Clarksville sophomore Candace Bain pitched six strong innings, fanning four, walking four, and giving up just two hits. Fellow soph Michaelia Gilbert relieved the ace in the fifth and struck out two. At the plate, Bain was equally impressive, going 3-4 with a trio of both runs and RBI scored. Her freshman sister, Kaci, had a single with two RBI and a pair of walks as well.
“When we played them earlier in the season, they only beat us 7-0, and it took all seven innings. I think when they scored seven runs with two outs in the first inning that it changed the entire mental attitude of my team for the rest of the game,” Lanesville coach Mary Geswein said.
“Against a team like Clarksville, you just can’t make errors,” she said. “They have a heck of a program down here and a super field. I just wish we were in a different sectional. Maybe I can write the IHSAA about that. I guess we’re happy to give Clarksville their 25th win of the season.”
Mix surrendered a one-out hit to Heather Branham in the bottom of the first and fanned Madison Dickman for the second out. That’s when things started to unravel.
Candace Bain singled for a RBI, Amy Bisinger had a fielder’s choice that was late to second base, Gilbert walked, Erin Fisher was plunked with the bases loaded, Kaci Bain singled, Elizabeth Cox reached on an error, Autumn Combs singled for two RBI, and Branham had her second hit of the inning.
Lanesville finally escaped when Dickman grounded out to third.
“I really thought we were going to get out of that one, and one thing after another happened, and we’re down 7-0 just like that,” Geswein said.
After having just a handful of runners reach first on free passes, the Lady Eagles broke through in the fourth when Katie Rothrock had an infield single and Audrey Hess reached on a fielder’s choice. Rebekah McKim singled, but Hess was called out trying to make her way to third.
Lanesville (7-14) never threatened after that.
“We’ve got a nice group coming back for next season and should have some nice eighth graders coming up, too,” Geswein said. “Hopefully, we can get a few of these girls out to play some summer ball and really work at getting better. I think we can compete much better next year. It’s just tough to do when you go through a season with injuries and you don’t have a lot of kids to start off with.”