Lady Rebs on SAC roll, top Lanesville
The Class A No. 11 Lanesville softball team had a recent stranglehold on the head-to-head match-ups with rival South Central.
That all changed Thursday afternoon in Lanesville. Behind a one-hit pitching performance from Erica Coulter and two-hit, three-RBI performance from Carolyn Zipp, the Lady Rebels defeated the Lady Eagles, 5-1. The win was the team’s first over Lanesville since the 2004 season.
‘I had a feeling (of the one-hitter), but I wasn’t for sure. I’m just so excited,’ Coulter said. ‘Mainly, I wanted to stay focused and not let my nerves get the best of me. The defense was very good and had my back.’
Coulter held Lanesville hitless through the first five innings. For the game, Coulter forced 13 ground ball outs. She struck out two Lady Eagles and did not allow a walk.
Offensively, the Lady Rebels put two on the board in the third inning. With one out, No. 9 hitter Allison Mathis hit a triple past a lunging Morgan Williams in left field. The ball trickled to the fence, allowing Mathis to reach third.
The next batter, Megan Sanders, sharply hit a ball to left field, plating Mathis. After stealing second base, one of four steals for Sanders, she was plated by a two-out single off the bat of Zipp.
‘Ashley Schoen is a really good pitcher, but we couldn’t go up there intimidated,’ Sanders said. ‘You have to believe in getting a hit, and we did that.’
South Central doubled the score in the fifth inning when Mathis and Sanders reached on walks. Then, with two outs, Zipp came up with another clutch hit. She nailed a double to the left center-field fence, scoring both runners.
Zipp finished the day 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a walk. Amelia Foreman and Tori Swank also had hits for the Lady Rebels. Sanders scored three runs, and Mathis had two.
Lanesville was held hitless through five innings until Lady Eagle Kayla Smith broke the streak with a line drive to right field. The speedster cruised to third base with a stand-up triple. Morgan Williams scored Smith when she laid down a bunt. Williams safely reached first on an error. Coulter, however, recorded the final two outs of the inning to elude the jam.
‘We gave them four runs by not playing good defense,’ Lanesville coach Bill Krammes said. ‘We make a throw home on target, we get an out. We make better judgment in the outfield on a few plays, and it’s a ballgame. We didn’t hit the ball very well today either, but our defense got the best of us. Credit South; they are getting better.’
South Central added its fifth run in the seventh inning via a double steal. After reaching first base on an error, Sanders stole second and third bases, setting up the play. After Zipp walked, the play was on. Zipp broke for second, and Sanders headed home after Lanesville attempted to gun down Zipp.
Lanesville hit balls hard in the seventh inning, but two slick plays helped seal the game. Sanders made a diving catch at shortstop, and Brittany Brown had a sliding grab in left field; both robbed the Lady Eagles of hits.
In the circle, Schoen finished with 12 strikeouts and four walks.
‘I can’t stop shaking,’ Foreman said after the game. ‘It is really exciting for us to step up and get a conference win. … ‘
South Central rode momentum into the Southern Athletic Conference battle after winning the Austin Invitational the previous weekend.
The Lady Rebels then picked up an even bigger SAC win Friday. They hosted Class A No. 3 Henryville and took down the Lady Hornets, 8-4.
South Central scored five runs in the sixth inning to take an 8-2 lead. The Lady Rebels pounded out 17 hits, including two doubles from Foreman, a double from Zipp and a triple from Sanders.
Coulter scored the win in the circle, improving her record to 6-2. Ashley Dickerson took the loss for Henryville.