Defense key to 3-2 Lanesville win over NH
Monday’s battle between North Harrison and Lanesville had the look of teams in mid-season form. Both teams put the ball in play while equally making routine plays in the field.
Class A No. 12 Lanesville scored a pair of runs in the second inning to take a 3-2 lead and held on to that margin for the victory over the Class 3A No. 15 Lady Cats in Lanesville.
‘We could have had one or two more runs and North Harrison could have had one or two more runs if we don’t make plays,’ Lanesville coach Bill Krammes said. ‘I just think it was a game where they played well and we played well. It could have gone either way.’
Lanesville sophomore Ashley Schoen opened the scoring in the first inning, belting a line-drive home run over the left center field fence. The solo shot gave the Lady Eagles a 1-0 edge.
Sasha Grangier and Alyssa McAfee opened the top of the second inning with singles for North Harrison. Two batters later, Kristin Hoehn brought in a run with a successful squeeze bunt. Starting pitcher Courtney Crone helped her own cause, plating the second Lady Cat run with a ground out.
Down 2-1, Lanesville quickly answered back in the second inning. Elizabeth Sacassas drew a one-out walk to start the rally, followed by Kari McCormick reaching on a close play at first base.
Lanesville then squeezed with Amber Parsons, but a throwing error allowed Sacassas to score. Erin Dorgay scored Lanesville’s third run on a ground out.
‘We start off getting that 1-0 lead when Ashley gets that home run,’ Krammes said. ‘Well, that is great, but lots of times, a team says ‘we are done’ and finish out the game. But they scored two on us quick and then we scored two quick.’
Both offenses then shuttered in the final five innings, thanks to the pitching of Crone and Schoen. Schoen recorded eight strikeouts in the final five frames. Crone was relieved by Mary Robertson in the sixth inning.
‘Our pitchers did a nice job tonight,’ North Harrison coach John Lambert said. ‘Crone threw well, but her pitch count was getting a little higher than we like.’
North Harrison pitcher Jessica Kaufman was sidelined for the game as she recovers from an injury to her pitching arm.
‘Courtney has stepped up and done a good job since Jessica hasn’t been able to pitch,’ Lambert said. ‘We are hoping to get Jess back; she is a big part of our team and we want her healthy. But tonight we had good energy in the dugout and good energy before the game. I think the attitude is good. It is just getting everything to fall in place, and I think they will.’
North Harrison hit the ball hard at times but usually found a member of the Lanesville defense to corral the out.
‘It has been three weeks,’ Lambert said of some struggles at the plate. ‘We haven’t put together a strong offensive game in that span. We just have to start hitting the ball where they are not. If they keep hitting the ball hard, it will find holes.’
Lanesville relied on defense and a strong performance from Schoen for the win.
‘When you play against good teams, you have to have good defense and a pitcher that is going to throw strikes,’ Krammes said. ‘As a team, we did a good job fielding. Our freshman, (left fielder) Kayla Smith did a great job running down a ball early. She did a great job in a big game like this to make that play.’
Kelly Zollman finished the game with a pair of hits for the Lady Eagles.
Lanesville has a tough week ahead. They play in a tournament at Tecumseh Saturday. They play Class A No. 1 Tecumseh at noon, followed by a game against Class A No. 13 North Daviess at 2.
On Monday, the Lady Eagles (10-2) play at Class A No. 6 Henryville to determine the Southern Athletic Conference champion.
‘We have big games ahead of us,’ Krammes said. ‘They are all good teams. If we are going to get back to the state finals, we’re going to have to play teams like that.’
North Harrison (8-6) hosts New Albany today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. followed by a home contest tomorrow against Austin at 5.