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Brownstown offsets Money’s blast in 9th

Brownstown offsets Money’s blast in 9th
Brownstown offsets Money’s blast in 9th
Corydon Central’s Kaitlan Money touches home plate after launching a home run over the center-field fence in the ninth inning last Wednesday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Experiencing the ups and downs of one inning was in the cards for the Corydon Central softball team going well into the night at Salem last Wednesday.
Playing in the ninth inning under the lights, the Lady Panthers took the lead in the top half of the inning when Kaitlan Money launched a homer toward the full moon beyond the center-field fence. The bomb gave Corydon Central a 4-3 lead over Brownstown Central in the Class 3A Salem Sectional semi-final.
The margin was changed in the bottom half of the ninth when an error then a sac-fly RBI by Brooke Rogers won the game for Brownstown Central, 5-4.
‘Bats and ballgames are wonderful because they can turn in an instant,’ Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe said. ‘You can be your own worst enemy, or you can come together and expect the ball. I expected this game to come down to the wire. We definitely should have won that ballgame.’
Trailing by one run in the seventh inning, Corydon Central needed a two-out hit to force extras. Kristin Alcorn led off that inning with a double, one of three the sophomore had. A well-placed sac bunt by Aly Chambers moved her teammate to third. After Brownstown Central pitcher Kourtney Branaman recorded a strikeout, Corydon Central’s Payton Windell blooped a big hit to right center. Her single plated Alcorn.
In the bottom half, Brownstown Central threatened with two outs when Hallie Wessel doubled to right center. Lady Panther twirler Jenna Stiles ended the inning, forcing a pop-out.
The Lady Braves had back-to-back singles from Maeleigh Tidd and Branaman with one out in the eighth. An infield fly caused some mayhem on the bases when the ball wasn’t caught but both runners retreated safely. An infield error by the Lady Panthers loaded the bases, but they managed to force another inning when third baseman Ashley Mattingly flipped to Alcorn at third after bobbling a ball to record the inning’s final out.
In the top of the ninth, celebration ensued with two outs when Money crushed her homer to center.
‘I told Money in our meeting to just push through the ball and I guarantee you it will go straight out of center field, and it did,’ Briscoe said.
In the bottom half of the inning, Brownstown Central took advantage of an error. Chelsea Scott drew a one-out walk, then Courtney Conrad hit a roller to third, but Mattingly’s throw to first sailed out of reach. Scott scored on the play, while the speedy Conrad circled her way to third. At third, Conrad easily scored when Rogers hit a deep sac fly just in front of the center-field fence.
‘The level of nervousness was visible in a few of our girls tonight at this level of competition,’ Briscoe said. ‘It’s about being mentally tough and showing true grit and toughness.’
Early in the game, Corydon Central had a 2-0 lead. In the third, Alcorn had a double to left center while Money later connected on a long single that hit off the top of the center-field fence, plating a run.
Brownstown Central’s response was to score three runs in a rather long third inning. Nine batters came to the plate. Second baseman Chambers made a diving play to record an early out, yet Brownstown Central later scored on two bang-bang plays at the plate. One, Alcorn’s throw from short to home to cut the lead runner was late. Later, a throw to home was for not when Money, Corydon Central’s catcher, was called for a questionable obstruction call.
‘I can’t believe we played as well as we did when we didn’t get two calls at the plate early in the game,’ Briscoe said. ‘Those were two very questionable calls.’
Corydon Central managed to escape the inning only giving up three runs. Scott’s RBI single ended the Lady Braves’ scoring to let her team lead 3-2 until the finale.
‘The youthfulness of this team and the intermittent leadership that we’ve had throughout the year makes you a 12-16 team,’ Briscoe said. ‘You have to have kids show up every day as leaders, but some days we’d have one, maybe two or no one. You end up losing a number of games because you beat up yourself most of the time as we did just now.’
Alcorn led the Lady Panthers’ offense with three doubles, while Money had two hits. Mattingly also had a double.
Branaman earned the win, while Stiles took the loss. Stiles struck out and walked five.
‘You can see the talent,’ Briscoe said. ‘They’ll be in the run for the conference championship next year.’
Corydon Central graduates three: Kayla Owsley, Mattingly and Money.
Brownstown Central advanced to the sectional final where they lost to Charlestown 12-0.