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No chill in Lady Panthers’ bats

A gloomy, overcast and remarkably chilly evening last Wednesday did anything but slow down the start of the softball season for Corydon Central. Backed by a one-hit performance from Jenna Keinsley in the circle combined with 14 hits, the Lady Panthers rolled to a 14-0 victory on their home turf over Perry Central.
The lone blemish came on the first at bat of the game, when Perry Central’s Hilarie Hahus reached base on an infield error. Keinsley never panicked, striking out the next three hitters.
When Corydon Central had its first crack at Perry Central pitcher Abby Preher, the Lady Panthers wasted no time rolling down the lineup. In the bottom of the first, Shelby Short’s lead-off infield single led to a three-run inning. Courtney Thieneman plated a pair of the runs with a one-out double.
The hit barrage really took form in the second inning with a seven-run, six-hit performance. The first seven Lady Panthers reached base in the inning started by Jolanna Stiles drawing a lead-off walk. She was followed by back-to-back singles by Katelyn Botts and Short. Extra-base hits followed with Keinsley clearing the bases with a double to left center and Josey Kintner roping a triple. Jordan Behagg reached on an error, followed by Thieneman’s second hit of the game. As the team batted through the order, Stiles added a double but was stranded to end the inning, giving the Lady Panthers a more-than-comfortable 10-0 lead.
The bottom of the third featured some of the same fireworks. Annalea Miller, Keinsley, Thieneman and Behagg each picked up hits in the inning.
‘They played like typical high school players in the first inning,’ Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. ‘Once they settled down and played with their skills, they showed what kind of explosive team they can be.’
Briscoe was able to work in all 17 players who dressed for the game, giving everyone a taste of game action. The team had been restricted to a handful of inter-squad scrimmages before the season opener, so, for Briscoe and the team, it was nice to take on an opponent other than each other.
‘It was good to play and get the jitters out,’ Briscoe said.
Keinsley nearly completed a five-inning no-hitter. She recorded 12 strikeouts while walking just one. In the top of fifth with two out, Perry Central came up with a sharply hit ball up the middle, breaking the no-hit bid.
‘Jenna has some work to do; some pitches are working and some aren’t,’ Briscoe said. ‘It’s the first time she’s faced live batters other than her teammates, and it’s early in the season.’
Corydon Central travels to rival North Harrison tomorrow (Thursday) for a 5 p.m. battle. On Saturday, the Lady Panthers will participate in the New Albany Invitational, which begins at 10 a.m.