Corydon Central opens with Henryville sweep
In recent years, the Corydon Central softball team has opened the season by participating in a tournament across the Ohio River in Meade County. Due to a mix-up in communication, the Lady Panthers were left off the tournament’s roster of teams.
To make up for it, the three-time defending Class 3A sectional champion and pre-season No. 11 Lady Panthers faced defending Class A regional runner-up and No. 5 Henryville Saturday to open the season. Corydon Central used a two-out rally in the fifth inning of the first game, capped by an Annalea Miller 3-run home run, to eventually sweep the Lady Hornets, 4-3, 7-1.
‘I expected us to win two today or split,’ Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. ‘I wasn’t expecting two losses, but I thought they were that good. They have two quality pitchers who play shortstop and a third baseman that can hit the ball hard.’
The teams figured to feature a pitching duel between Corydon Central’s Jenna Keinsley and Henryville’s Amanda Embry, a second-team All-State honoree last season.
Aided by doubles from Ashley Dickerson and two from Haley Hall, Henryville built a 3-0 lead at the start of game one.
In the first four innings, Corydon Central put runners on but had trouble getting them across the plate.
That changed in the fifth inning: With two outs, Shelby Short lofted a double over the infield. Keinsley followed with an RBI single up the middle, making the score 3-1. The next hitter, Savannah Cesar, doubled off the left-field fence, putting runners at second and third for Miller. The clean-up hitter belted a shot over the fence, smacking the ball off the scoreboard that showed the Lady Panthers taking a 4-3 lead.
‘Four runs on two outs shows great character. Either you have it or you don’t,’ Briscoe said.
‘Miller, it was her first home run ever and it was huge,’ Briscoe said. ‘I went up and told her it doesn’t make a difference what the count is, you have to load up and put the bat on the ball.’
It was the first week back for Miller, who is recovering from arm surgery.
Keinsley and the Lady Panther defense hung on to the 4-3 lead to take the first game. Keinsley finished with six strikeouts and had two hits at the plate. Abby Ellett also had a pair of hits for the Lady Panthers.
‘I thought Jenna came out a little sluggish against some really good hitters, but she got it together,’ Briscoe said. ‘I think she comes into the season better than she came into last season.’
Embry finished the game with three strikeouts.
In game two, Corydon Central gained the upper hand early, riding to a 7-1 win. Henryville twirled Ashley Dickerson in game two.
Keinsley reached on a single and eventually scored on a Miller single, giving Corydon Central a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The game also featured several flashes of defense from the Lady Panthers. Catcher Angela Shutters threw out a pair of base stealers, shortstop Short threw out a runner at home and Keinsley, Short and first baseman Katlyn Whelan combined for a double play.
‘We made some really nice defensive plays,’ Briscoe said. ‘(Shawna) Kopp played her first game in center field and made some huge plays, caught everything.’
Corydon Central added on to the scoring parade in the third inning. Keinsley clubbed a double, advancing Short, who drew a leadoff walk, to third. Two hitters later, Miller plated Short with a sacrifice fly to center. Keinsley then scored on a Henryville throwing error. Shutters made it a 4-0 lead when she singled home Cesar.
Henryville scored its lone run of the second game when Haley Hall circled the bases on a double and Lady Panther throwing error in the fourth inning.
Corydon Central added two runs in the fourth inning when Cesar plated two as she reached on an error.
‘This was a good game to get us ready for the conference schedule that hits us early next week,’ Briscoe said.
The Lady Panthers host Perry Central today (Wednesday) at 5:30 p.m. They hit the road tomorrow to face Charlestown at 5 p.m.