Lanesville run stops at final four
Eleven years ago, Lanesville and North Central (Farmersburg) met up at the state semi-finals (play then under a four-team state final) in Class 1A softball to determine who would play for a state championship.
Saturday night, the two squads were in similar situations. The previous meeting was won by the Lady Eagles, but this time North Central used aggressive play to upend Lanesville 10-0 in five innings of the 1A North Daviess semi-state.
Playing in the final four match-up on a steamy Saturday night, Lanesville was unable to find holes in the Lady Birds’ defense.
‘North Central did well and put pressure on us,’ Lanesville coach Eric Pavey said. ‘We made some mistakes, and we got down on ourselves. We had a great season and made a good run.’
It was the second straight semi-state appearance for the Lady Eagles.
In the final on Saturday, North Central’s Madison Schofield provided some early pop. The lead-off hitting shortstop cleared the left-field fence for a solo home run and a 1-0 North Central lead.
‘Our girls were prepared but, I think when (Schofield) hit a home run in their first at bat, it shook us a little bit,’ Pavey said. ‘Then, we came back with some good innings, but they really put pressure on us late.’
After giving up the solo shot, Lanesville pitcher Katelyn Hurley retired the next six batters she faced.
Meanwhile, at the dish, Lanesville saw Abby Duncan reach on a single in the first inning but was stranded. Duncan went 2 for 2, with her second at bat eventually leading to a double play. Danielle Haire smashed a liner but was picked out of the air by Marissa Miller, leading to doubling off Duncan at second base.
‘We hit the ball hard but right at them,’ Pavey said. ‘I think everything we did offensively was fine. We hit the ball well but right at them. We had our hardest hit ball turn into a double play. I’m fine with the way we hit the ball. Our defense fell apart a little bit at the end.’
North Central added two runs in the third and fourth innings. A pair of two-out walks came around to score in the third. Hannah Shroyer and Sheyanne Hauger had RBI singles to make the score 3-0.
Three errors committed by Lanesville in the fourth inning allowed two additional Lady Birds’ runs to cross the plate.
Lanesville had a single hit by Lily Romeo to center put a base runner on in the fifth, but she couldn’t move beyond the first bag.
In the bottom of the fifth, North Central amped up the pressure. An infield error and a triple off the stick of Jocelyn Cox began what would be a five-run frame. Four of the next five North Central batters reached base on either bunt singles or fielder’s choices.
‘We are not pretty, but we try to work hard,’ Pavey said. ‘We often like to do what (North Central) did to us. We want to put pressure on other teams. Again, our approach was good, but it wasn’t our game tonight.’
Pavey said he’s still proud of the run his players made through the tournament.
‘I knew these girls had the talent to make this run,’ he said. ‘It was a matter of putting it all together at the right time. I think we did and had a good run. In the tournament, you may run into a team that is better than you, and today we got beat by a really good team. We hope they win state so we can at least say we went out against a state champion.’
Pavey admitted that earlier in the year he was skeptical if the Lady Eagles (17-11) could achieve post-season success.
‘As we figured things out, we played a lot better,’ Pavey said. ‘When you lose seven seniors and then you return to semi-state and win a game, I think it speaks volumes to the work the girls did do to get better.’
Hurley, the team’s ace for a better part of the last four years, graduated and will head to Kentucky State University.
‘We tried to ride (Hurley), and we started to really hit better and play better defense as the season went on,’ Pavey said.
North Central, located just south of Terre Haute, saw Erika Shroyer pick up the win in the circle.
Lanesville 000 00 ‘ 0 3 5
North Central 102 25 ‘ 10 7 0
W ‘ Erika Shroyer, L ‘ Katelyn Hurley.
3B ‘ Jocelyn Cox; HR ‘ Madison Shroyer (NC).