Kaufman no-hits visiting Scottsburg in 19-0 rout
North Harrison junior Jessica Kaufman gunned down visiting Scottsburg last Tuesday with a no-hitter as the Lady Cats overpowered their foes in a 19-0 rout. Kaufman said she was feeling very confident coming into the contest.
‘Especially after yesterday because I went to pitching practice and was doing pretty good,’ Kaufman said. ‘I was feeling good.’
‘She’s tough anyway,’ said North Harrison coach Ron Mitchell. ‘I don’t think she’s had very many hits off of her in any game. She did a good job tonight. She’s hungry. She wants to pitch and wants to do the best she can.’
Kaufman struck out two of her first three batters, then the Lady Cats had a big first inning at the plate, scoring six runs. Kayla Lambert, Mary Robertson and Kayla Waynescott all reached base safely via three straight Scottsburg errors. Lambert scored on the third mistake to put the Lady Cats on the board.
Brooke Auberry singled, scoring Robertson and Waynescott. Jenna McConnell walked, then Kaufman singled to score McConnell as Scottsburg committed another throwing error. With one out, Ashley Eveslage singled to score courtesy runner Kristin Hoehn for a 6-0 lead.
Kaufman struck out two more as Scottsburg went three up and out. North Harrison scored nine runs in the bottom of the second, with the Lady Cats getting eight hits in the inning. Auberry hit for a double, and Kaufman and Waynescott smacked triples for runs as North Harrison took a 15-0 lead.
Kaufman struck out two more in the third, then North Harrison scored another run in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a McConnell double. She then later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Eveslage after another Scottsburg mistake.
Kaufman then misfired on some pitches, first hitting Jessi Derrickson and walking Jessica Kirby with two outs. Kaufman got out of the inning, however, as Emily Reece grounded out.
‘I shouldn’t have walked the person and hit the one person in the foot,’ said Kaufman. ‘Stuff happens. I try to not let it get to me. I hope it didn’t hurt her too bad.’
‘The inside screwball got her,’ Mitchell said.
In their last at-bat, the Lady Cats scored three more runs as the Warriorettes began the inning with three straight infield errors, allowing North Harrison to load the bases. Kaufman struck out two of her last three batters as North Harrison finished out the 19-0 win.
‘We threw a lot of fast balls,’ said Kaufman, who struck out 7 of the 18 batters she faced. ‘We threw a couple of screw balls and a couple of rise balls.’
Mitchell said the junior pitcher was a true competitor.
‘We were at South Harrison the other night, and I pulled her in the seventh inning and you’d have thought I killed her,’ Mitchell said. ‘I want her to keep that hunger and I think she is. She’s really done good this year. Her whole mental attitude and focus has completely turned around from last year. Last year, she’d get a runner on base and just fall apart. This year, she’s mentally tougher. She got those runners on base and we still got them out.’
North Harrison (11-2) had 12 hits with no errors for the five innings. Mitchell was able to put some of his younger players at the plate for some much-needed experience. The win improved their Mid-Southern Conference record to 4-1.
‘Some of the younger players still had problems but the older players, they stayed disciplined at the plate and hit the ball,’ Mitchell said. ‘That’s what you have to be, focused and swinging at the plate, and they did that.’
Scottsburg (1-8) had nine errors for its defensive fielding. Kayla Cochran walked three, and Emily Reece struck out three from the circle.
‘When you’re playing a team like Scottsburg, who looked like they had quite a few young kids, it’s not helping you out a whole lot,’ Mitchell said. ‘Their pitching is a little slower and they’re not going to hit the ball as well, so you get kind of complacent out in the field. Your pitcher is doing all the work and it’s not helping you. Nothing against Scottsburg, but it doesn’t help you.’
‘You put it out of your mind because you can’t rely on this for other games to help you out,’ said Kaufman, who had long waits between times in the circle. ‘You’ve just got to go in with a good mental attitude.’
Mitchell said games like this can set you backwards.
‘The better team you play, the better it’s going to make you,’ he said. ‘I just forget about this one. It can be bad when you play a team that’s way behind you to a team that’s really good. You struggle. Luckily we have practice tomorrow and we don’t have to play anybody.’
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