CC survives Lady Dragons in squeaker
When sectional time comes in Indiana, people know that anything is possible on any given night. Monday night almost turned into one of those as upset-minded Silver Creek kept tournament-favorite Corydon on the ropes until the final inning when Savanah Cesar crossed the plate for the winning run in the Lady Panthers’ 1-0 win.
‘I don’t care what sport you’re in, Indiana high school sports, sectional tournament play is the best of the best bringing their best that night,’ said Corydon coach Kim Briscoe. ‘Any kid on any team can come out here and make a difference. I don’t care what your record is when you got here. You have to come out here ready to play. We were ready to play, but we weren’t mentally tough enough to get it done when we needed to get it done.’
Corydon had several chances to score in the early innings, leaving two runners stranded in the bottom of the first in scoring position and again in the bottom of the sixth. Silver Creek left runners on as well and also had a chance to score in the sixth, putting Carol Absher on second in the bottom of the sixth. Megan Pennington, however, lined back to Corydon pitcher Jenna Keinsley to end the inning.
‘I’ve told them over and over and over you can’t leave people on base,’ Briscoe said. ‘You can’t leave people in scoring position. If there’s one stat that we have, it’s getting people on base and leaving too many of them stranded. We left seven and probably four in scoring position, not a doubt about it.’
Silver Creek threatened again in the top of the seventh when Amber McFarland singled then stole second. Keinsley struck out Alicia Coulter for the third out to stop the Lady Dragons’ threat and leave Corydon a chance to take the game in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Cesar singled then Shelby Short got an infield single putting the winning run in scoring position. Keinsley struck out for the second out, leaving Silver Creek with hope. Josey Kintner then hit a hard shot to Silver Creek’s Samantha Block at shortstop. Block misfired on her throw to stop Cesar at third. Cesar went sprinting in to home to what looked like would be the winning run.
Field umpire Craig Markranz, however, initially called Cesar out for interference but, after a conference with plate umpire Wayne Perle, the call was reversed and Cesar’s run counted to give the Lady Panthers the win and advancement into the next round again North Harrison.
‘You have to give those (Silver Creek) kids credit,’ Briscoe said. ‘I’m upset that the game ended in kind of controversy. The guy did miss the call. The girl did not run into the fielder. Then she picks it up and she nails her in the back and it goes into the fence and we score. That’s how you win. You’ve got to find a way to win, especially when things aren’t going your way. So that is a positive character in us.’
Corydon finished with six hits for the game, with Short getting two singles for the Lady Panthers. Jenna Keinsley struck out four Lady Dragons and walked one. Corydon had one error for the seven innings.
‘What I’m most displeased about is how we’ve played the last three ball games,’ said Briscoe. ‘It’s kind of like we’ve peaked too early and we’re not focused. We’re a better team than we played tonight. You have to go back and look at Silver Creek and what they’ve done. They only had four kids strike out tonight. They came ready to play. Their pitcher pitched a heck of a ball game. I just happened to have a senior contact hitter up there that hit the ball hard in the hole. Things happen when you hit the ball. When you don’t hit the ball, you leave people on base.’
Silver Creek had just two hits for the game and two errors, but the big stat came from pitcher Jessica Wells who struck out 14 Lady Panther batters.
‘That’s not characteristic of us at all,’ said the Corydon coach. ‘We have a few batters in a position on our team who are in a kind of hitting slump right now.’
‘I was seeing visions of the last four games that we’ve played where we just don’t step into the box with our head into the ball to play,’ she said.
Corydon now faces its toughest opponent of the tournament, meeting North Harrison tonight (Wednesday) in the semi-final bye round. Briscoe said she plans to have her team focused.
‘Practice intensely,’ she said. ‘We’ll have intense practice and focus on hard work and cut the silly stuff and get serious. You’re one and done. It’s not rocket science.’
The championship game will be Thursday at 7 p.m.