Lady Panthers squeak by Lanesville
Despite several consecutive days of gloomy weather, the sun peeked out high above center field Thursday for Corydon Central’s home softball opener against county-foe Lanesville.
Offensively, it was small ball that brought Corydon Central back from a two-run deficit to sneak past Lanesville, 3-2. Jenna Stiles closed the game with seven consecutive strikeouts for the Lady Panthers in the circle.
‘I thought both teams played well, this being (Lanesville’s) first time out and our fourth,’ Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. ‘We got Harrison County softball fans out on a beautiful day to see some good softball.’
Lanesville got off to the quicker start of the two teams, backed by two hit performances from Amanda Pavey and Erica Daly.
Getting on the board first, Pavey reached on a single to the grass to lead off the second inning. Jessica DeWeese drew a walk and was followed by Emma Zeller hitting a single to load the bases.
Following a strikeout, Rachel Gary hit a grounder on the infield, plating a run on a fielder’s choice. The throw home was unable to cut down the runner.
Stiles would eventually escape the jam, leaving the bases loaded by striking out two in a row.
Lanesville doubled its run total in the third inning when Daly reached with a one-out single. Once Daly swiped second base, Pavey drove her home with her second single.
‘We got the bat on the ball early on with solid contact,’ Lanesville coach Rusty Cecil said. ‘Today, I thought 95 percent of the game we did what we needed to do to win. We missed a few things here and there, but they are situations to work on.’
Corydon Central charged back with two outs in the bottom half of the third inning to knot the game at two.
Kaitlyn Logsdon drew a walk then aggressively stole second base. Lanesville pitcher Zeller seemed likely to escape the inning when she struck out Aly Chambers. The third strike, however, squirted away to the backstop, allowing Chambers to reach first base.
With two on, Kristen Alcorn delivered a two-run double that landed just in front of the center-field fence.
During the course of the next four innings, Lanesville managed one more base runner. Daly nearly circled the bases for a two-out triple in the fifth. She was stranded when Stiles struck out Pavey.
Stiles would go on to finish with 16 strikeouts during seven innings. Briscoe said there is still room for her sophomore pitcher to work.
‘She’s just throwing right now,’ Briscoe said of her lefty twirler. ‘She’s not throwing to the count yet, like a lot of young pitchers fail to do. She’ll adjust.’
Zeller was nearly as effective for the Lady Eagles. She finished with seven strikeouts and held the Lady Panthers to one hit heading into the sixth inning.
In the sixth, the Lady Panthers used speed at the top of the order to spark the eventual winning run. Chambers and Alcorn reached on consecutive bunts. Kaitlan Money, who had a sliding catch in the third inning, advanced both runners when she laid down a sac bunt.
After Zeller induced a Payton Windell pop-up for the second out, Chambers would score with Savanna Wiseman at the plate. When a pitch skirted to the backstop, the swift Chambers slid in under Zellers’ glove, putting Corydon Central up 3-2.
‘We wanted to use small ball earlier, but we missed a few signs when we had runners in scoring position,’ Briscoe said.
‘We’ll learn from this,’ Cecil said. ‘It is early, but in that situation, then next time we’ll play aggressive and get an out. We have to anticipate a little better in that game situation. With the score tied in the bottom of the sixth and the lead-off on, you have to expect a bunt.’
Stiles was able to close the game with three punchouts, giving the host Lady Panthers their first win after dropping three at the Meade County Invitational.
Cecil said he was OK with the result.
‘I’m not happy and I’m not bummed out because we were right there,’ he said.
Briscoe said her team is fighting through a hitting rut.
‘We haven’t figured out how to get hits yet,’ she said. ‘We’re making contact, but we’re not working the count. We keep our hands high.’
Corydon Central will return home tomorrow (Thursday) to face Mid-Southern Conference foe Charlestown at 5 p.m. Lanesville will travel to Orleans Friday for a 5 p.m. start.