Lady Cats turn table on South
It was table-turning time Thursday for North Harrison’s softball team in Elizabeth.
Last season, South Central edged the Lady Cats twice by 1-0 margins. In Thursday’s eight-inning affair, the score was the same, but the winner wasn’t.
Shayne Rhoades plated the winning run with a two-out, infield single to give first-year head coach Troy Mitchell his first win as skipper.
‘This is pretty exciting,’ Mitchell beamed after the victory. ‘After beating us twice last year by the same score, we knew it was going to be another tight game. Our defense this year is really strong, and we have a really good pitcher. We just have to hit the ball, and that was tough to do tonight.’
The Lady Cats only managed three hits against South’s star pitcher, Brittany Tuell. Tuell fanned 15 batters in the loss.
‘It happens like that sometimes,’ Lady Rebels coach Bob Zumar said. ‘You take two good teams, two good pitchers, and that’s what it’s going to come down to. One base-running mistake cost us a run, and we made two mental mistakes on defense at the end.
‘I’m happy that we got six hits against (Kristina) Lambert. To me that’s a good sign for us. We had a lot of one-run ball games that went our way last season, and this one didn’t. You can’t win them all.’
North Harrison’s Lambert, who has committed to play at Oakland City University next season, struck out seven and scattered five hits. She pitched her way out of several jams when runners were in scoring position in each of the first four innings. Lambert got out of another pickle in the sixth.
South’s best chance to score came in the third and fourth innings.
In the bottom of the third, Kim Beanblossom singled to center to lead off the inning. Tuell popped up to North’s Whitney Wetzel at third, and Beanblossom was doubled up after taking off for second.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Shannon Bruner singled and moved to second on a sacrifice by Amber Wooldridge. Dana Evans flew out to center on a nice catch by Lady Cat Ashley Davis.
South’s Melissa Biesel legged out an infield single to advance Bruner to third, but Lambert buckled down and fanned Brooke Kingsley to end the threat.
North’s only runner in scoring position was plated for the eventual game-winner.
‘Like I said, we have a really good defensive team, and I think if we just get some hits that we’ll be in a lot of ball games,’ Mitchell said. ‘Ashley Davis, who is a senior, did a great job in the outfield for us. She made some nice catches out there.’
There are a lot of games left in the season, Zumar said.
‘We hated to have our game against Clarksville rained out this week, because I know the girls want to play them really bad. We’re not scared of them any more. We respect them, but we’re not scared like we used to be.
‘I’m tickled pink with this ball club. The girls have a lot of confidence this year, and there are a lot of games to go.’
— Due to several rain-outs, it was the season opener for both clubs. It was also the debut of South’s new light system, which performed flawlessly (except for a easily-fixed dark spot down the third base line).
South’s home game against Clarksville was rescheduled for April 26; North’s date against Jeffersonville was played last night (Tuesday).