Creek HRs power past Corydon in opener
Brian Smith, Sports Editor
The last time the Corydon Central softball team competed in a game, it was well deep into the post season where sunscreen was needed to follow a final-four run in Class 3A.
Monday afternoon, at Corydon Central, there were more sweatshirts, parkas and bundled up fans in attendance to take in the season opener against Mid-Southern Conference-foe Silver Creek.
The two teams have had epic battles through the years, including a 1-0 Corydon Central win in the sectional championship a season ago.
Through the cold air Monday, the Lady Dragons used the long ball ” four home runs ” to defeat Corydon Central 15-2 in five innings.
‘The seniors are going to think the world stinks tonight, but we will come back tomorrow and improve how we play ball,’ Corydon Central coach Jeff Carver said.
Silver Creek jumped on the Lady Panthers in the opening inning. A single by lead-off hitter Jordan Balz, followed by a free pass to Abby Whitlock and a fielder’s choice to Alisha Harbold loaded the bases quickly.
An RBI sac fly by Kira Gibson brought in a run, then, two batters later, Bailey Cravens emptied the bases with a 3-run homer to left center.
Corydon Central cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first. Grace Erwin reached on an infield error then advanced a base on a Whitlock wild pitch. Coming home, Erwin touched the plate when Grace Carver smacked a ball through the Lady Dragon’s infield.
To make the score 4-2, Trystan Schreck knocked a triple to left, scoring Lexi Orme from first base. The rally ended when Liberty Safstrom’s liner to right was snagged by Gibson.
The Lady Panthers, however, didn’t score again.
‘The first inning, I was proud of them,’ Carver said. ‘I really thought our offense would respond some more. It became mental as the game went on, which is easy to fix.’
Homers boosted the Silver Creek lead in the third through fifth innings.
Gibson hit her first of two dingers in the third, bringing home Harbold, who reached on an error.
In the fourth, Gibson hit another homer, this time a grand slam. After three straight singles to open the frame, Gibson cleared the fence with a liner to left. She finished the game 2 for 2 with seven RBIs.
‘We found out a lot more than we expected,’ Carver said. ‘We didn’t have a walk-fest for coming into the game with two fairly inexperienced pitchers. They’ve been off from pitching and are coming back to it. (Silver Creek) really hit the ball.’
The Lady Panthers graduated nearly all of its innings pitched from the previous season. Corydon Central sent out seniors Amelia Yeager and reliever Orme to the circle in the opener.
‘We are still sorting out positions,’ Carver said. ‘We’ve moved some kids around, and we still aren’t sure they are in the right spot. We know we will improve as we go and adjust.’
Silver Creek hit another grand slam in the fifth when Harbold connected with a pitch to bring in four runs.
Corydon Central tried to extend the game in the bottom of the fifth. Emily Harbaugh reached on a double followed by Cami Schmitt drawing a two-out walk. Whitlock, a lefty twirler, picked up her seventh strikeout to end the game.
Grace Carver finished 1 for 2 and was hit by a pitch in the face mask. Avery Branham, Harbaugh and Schreck also went 1 for 2 for the Lady Panthers.
To go with Gibson’s day, Balz was 3 for 4 at the dish while Cravens had two hits as well.
Corydon Central will return to action Wednesday, April 3, when the Lady Panthers travel to Perry Central then host Charlestown on Thursday, April 4.
Silver Creek 402 54 ‘ 15 9 1
Corydon Central 200 00 ‘ 2 4 2
W ‘ Abby Whitlock, L ‘ Amelia Yeager.
2B ‘ Emily Harbaugh (CC); 3B ‘ Trystan Schreck (CC); HR ‘ Kira Gibson 2 (SC), Alisha Harbold (SC), Bailey Cravens (SC).
Records: Silver Creek 1-0, Corydon Central 0-1.