Corydon outclaws Lady Cats late, 8-3
After going down by a run in the top of the sixth, the Corydon Lady Panthers used three big hits to put six runs on the board in the bottom of the inning and put away the visiting North Harrison Lady Cats, 8-3, last week in a Mid-Southern Conference, county rival match-up.
‘I was very pleased with our effort tonight,’ said Corydon coach J.R. Drummond. ‘We finally got it going. We’ve left too many runners on base in too many games.’
On the other side of the fence North Harrison coach Ron Mitchell was not as happy.
‘We just kind of fell apart,’ he said. ‘We can’t keep focused long enough. We’re going to learn to do it one way or another. They can’t play games like that.’
The scoreboard stayed blank until the bottom of the third inning, when Corydon made its first major offensive strike. After Mallory Gerdon and Sharon Brown walked,Gerdon scored on a Lady Cat error. Leslie Radcliff then ripped a single to score Brown, giving Corydon a 2-0 lead.
The margin remained the same until the top of the sixth, when Whitney Wetzel rapped a one-out single to get a rally going. After a bunt hit by Kayla Waynescott, Brandi Pirtle singled to score Wetzel and move Waynescott to third. Courtney Thieneman then singled in two more runs, putting the Lady Cats on top, 3-2.
At that point Drummond got his team together for a quick huddle.
‘I told them, ‘We’re against the wall. It’s time to come out and fight,’ ‘ he said.
In Corydon’s half of the inning, Joey Kintner reached first when North Harrison freshman second baseman Brooke Auberry and senior right fielder Jenna Schneider miscommunicated, allowing a ball to drop. Mitchell said at that point he knew the worst was about to happen.
‘As soon as we dropped that ball, the momentum completely switched,’ he said.
Shayne Rhoads made a big-league diving catch on a Cheyenne Wright line drive, but that didn’t keep the Corydon momentum from slowing, proving Mitchell right.
Gerdon walked and Brown reached first on another North Harrison error, allowing courtesy runner Ashley Morris to cross the plate. Chrissy Crecelius then belted a stand-up double to score Gerdon and Brown. That forced the Lady Cats to make a pitching change.
‘Shayne (Rhoads) made a spectacular catch out there in center field,’ Mitchell said. ‘That didn’t faze the rest of them, and it should have. It should have been a big uplift.’
The pitching change didn’t silence Corydon’s bats. Radcliff ripped a triple to score Kate Robson and then Dana Beaven singled to score Radcliff.
With two outs, North Harrison committed two more errors that allowed Corydon to get another run and build an 8-3 lead.
North Harrison got a final chance in the top of the seventh, but despite two-out walks to Rhoads and Wetzel, Charissa Brooks popped up for the game’s final out.
‘We went to Charlestown the other night and they’ve got a lot better pitcher,’ Mitchell said. ‘We had 10 hits off of her. We came up here and (Fessel) wasn’t throwing that hard. She was just throwing strikes. We couldn’t even put the bat on the ball. We did finally one inning, but that was it.
‘It’s a big-time mental thing. It’s all about staying focused the whole game.’
Corydon finished with five hits, paced by Radcliff’s 3-for-4 effort, which included a sixth-inning triple. The Lady Panthers committed no errors and infielder Beaven threw out eight North Harrison runners. Corydon pitcher Samantha Fessel struck out four and walked three.
North Harrison gathered four hits but that was offset by six errors. The Lady Cat trio of pitchers Brooks, Waynescott and Kristen Benz combined for six strikeouts but allowed eight walks. Mitchell said it was the errors that bothered him most.
‘We couldn’t do anything,’ he said. ‘We dropped four or five pop flies. You can’t win ball games like that. My seniors still aren’t stepping up. We had a freshman mistake where the seniors should have been telling them to throw to first.’
Drummond said right now his team is focusing more on how they are playing than what their opposition is doing.
‘I think it’s like that early in the season for most teams,’ he said. ‘We’ve got to get some stuff figured out.’
For Mitchell and his Lady Cats, it’s about getting the focus back to where it belongs.
‘I had upperclassmen dropping pop flies, and there’s no reason for that,’ he said. ‘I’d say practice will be pretty intense tomorrow. They know it. I told them don’t expect to be going home early.’