Stingy Lady Panthers snare sectional
When Corydon Central’s softball team took to the diamond for fielding practice prior to the start of its sectional championship Thursday afternoon in Crawford County, there was no whooping, no chanting, and no banter.
The business-like demeanor carried over to the game, where the Lady Panthers had their eyes on just one thing: a sectional title.
Even when things got hairy late in the contest, the Black and Gold never wavered, never stumbled.
Providence gave Corydon an admirable fight, but in the end, strong pitching, smart base-running and the capitalization on a couple of errors gave the Lady Panthers their second crown in three years in a titillating, 2-1 victory.
The last championship for Corydon ‘ which won its tenth straight game ‘ came in 2000-2001 when the sectional was held at Charlestown.
The Lady Panthers (20-6) advance to Saturday’s South Spencer Regional to face No. 3-ranked (Class 2A) Gibson Southern (25-4), which scored its third straight sectional.
Senior pitcher Alisha Mosier (15-5), who struck out eight in the semifinal win over North Harrison, fanned 11 Lady Pioneer batters to push her season total to 202 strikeouts. Appropriately enough, she ended the game on a ‘K’ against pinch-hitter Emily Marking.
In the three sectional wins, Corydon gave up just one run.
‘Wow,’ Lady Panthers second-year coach Joseph Oakes said after the big triumph. ‘Alisha, she pitched a great game. She’s pitched well all week, all season. For her to be 15-5 against the teams that we’ve played, you can’t ask any more than that.
‘You can’t expect to just shut down a team like Providence. They’ve got a good ball club and good coaching over there.’
In last Tuesday’s win over North Harrison, Mosier never went to a three-ball count in the 23 batters she faced. In the championship, she went to a 3-2 count one time in 25 batters.
On the other side, Providence’s Abby Zollman may have taken the loss, but her efforts in the circle kept her team in the game: after the second inning, when Corydon posted its two runs, Zollman did not allow another base runner.
Chrissy Crecelius singled to lead off the Panthers’ second inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Samantha Fessel. Brandi Keller hit into what appeared to be a ground-out, but Melissa Kail couldn’t handle the throw at first, putting runners at second and third.
Kathryn Robson came in to pinch-run for Keller. Corydon’s Ann Powers grounded out, but Fessel, who had hesitated when the ball was hit, barely beat the throw to the plate and slid under the tag by SaraRose Hornung. With Cassie Mathews at bat, Robson scored easily on a passed ball, but she, too, hesitated before breaking for home.
‘I’d been using Fessel all year as a pinch runner, and I told her to watch out for them coming home. I guess that’s why she stuttered, so that was my fault. The second one ‘ I told her to stop and she just kept going,’ Oakes said. ‘It’s a strange way to get a run, but that’s the way it goes.’
Providence’s lone run, which was unearned, came in the top of the sixth.
Kail reached second on an error and moved to third on a single by Zollman. Hornung flew out to center to drive in Kail.
Mosier retired the side in order in the top of the seventh.
‘Alisha Mosier pitched a very fine ball game. She did a good job. We couldn’t put the bat on the ball when we needed it,’ Providence coach Allen Donner said. ‘We had people in (scoring) position. But there has to be a winner and there has to be a loser, and we just couldn’t get the hits when we needed them.’
Corydon Central senior pitcher Alisha Mosier prepares to let one fly against Providence. She struck out 11 in the 2-1 sectional victory Thursday night.
Lady Titans have proven tourney mettle
Gibson Southern (25-4), ranked No. 3 in Class 2A, is no stranger to the rigors of the state softball tournament: last season the Lady Titans lost in the regional title game, 2-0, to eventual state champion Evansville Memorial, and in 2001 they were the state runner-up to Roncalli.
First pitch is set for noon (fast time), with Corydon’s game against Gibson set for about 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for any session or $7 for a season ticket.
In the other bracket, Memorial (23-8) squares off against West Vigo.
Allie May is the team’s ace. She went the distance in the sectional final, giving up eight hits, three strikeouts, three walks and one earned run. May also pitched in a 2-1 semifinal win over Washington.
Directions to South Spencer: Take I-64 West to the Dale exit (S.R. 231). Follow 231 South to Rockport and turn right at the first stoplight, which is S.R. 66.
South Spencer H.S. is three miles down, on right, and the softball diamond is behind the school.