Lady Panthers remain undefeated in MSC
Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer
Host Corydon Central wasn’t able to string together many hits last Tuesday night against Brownstown Central, but, thanks to Bella Gerlach and Avery Adams, the Lady Panthers didn’t need to.
The duo connected for a pair of home runs as Corydon Central trimmed the Lady Braves, 3-1, behind a complete-game victory from sophomore pitcher Bailey Orme. Coupled with an 8-1 win at Salem on Thursday, the Lady Panthers remain undefeated in Mid-Southern Conference play and 15-5 overall heading into back-to-back conference games this week: today (Wednesday) hosting Scottsburg and tomorrow at Austin.
“This was a big win,” said Corydon Central co-coach Josh Orme. “Overall, this was one of our better games all year at the plate and in the field. We had a couple of double plays that got us out of some innings and a couple of jams, and then we do what we’ve been doing all year behind the plate, and that’s hitting the ball.
“It’s not just in the top of our lineup; the bottom has been hitting it, too,” he said. “We have nine spots that can hit, and it makes it a lot easier to get runs across the plate.”
Corydon Central threatened by loading the sacks in the bottom of the opening frame, but Brownstown Central pitcher Rylin Huddleston was able to get out of the two-out jam with a harmless slow-roller back to the mound.
Huddleston, who struck out eight, wasn’t as fortunate in the second inning.
With two outs, Corydon Central’s lead-off batter, Gerlach, a junior, hit a rocket that just cleared the right center-field fence, driving in Kylie Mathes, who reached on a one-out error.
The homer was Gerlach’s eighth of the season.
“When she hits the ball like that, it’s usually no doubt; it’s gone,” coach Orme said. “She has stepped up all year for us and had big hits like that in several games. She has eight home runs, but she’s also had some big-time hits, doubles and triples that throw runs across the board. She’s leading the team in RBI and that’s because the back of our lineup is getting on base and she’s getting them in.
“That was a big hit on an 0-2 count,” he said. “You can’t put anything close for her. She’s constantly analyzing the game and is a thinker, and it shows on film.”
Huddleston struck out the side in the third, but Corydon Central scored again in the fifth by way of the long ball.
Again with two outs, Adams sent a high-moon shot over the left center-field fence for a 3-0 lead on her second homer of the season.
“She’s had a couple of close ones this year, but that one was no doubt; it was gone,” said Corydon Central’s co-skipper. “Avery has been a big hitter for us. She had a good game in the field, too, when she caught a pop-up that led to a double play that got us out of a jam.”
Brownstown Central had runners at first and second with one out, but Orme recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat. The Braves avoided the shutout by plating a run in the top of the seventh, however.
Rylee May hit a double down the left-field line, then Maddison Brittain came through for a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single to right. Orme got Kelsey Schneider to ground out on a come-backer to end the game.
Orme gave up one run on seven hits, three strikeouts and had one walk in the victory, while Huddleston took the loss on one walk and five hits as the Braves dropped to 12-8 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
“(Bailey) had a solid game,” the co-coach said. “She hit her spots and did well. She kept the batters off balance, I thought, and her pitches, especially her change, were on tonight. This was probably the most solid game she pitched.”
Offensively for Corydon Central, Adams and Grace Erwin both had doubles and Orme had a bloop single.
“From the first of the season to now, we’ve made huge strides and, if we continue to play like we played tonight, I think we’re going to be awfully tough to beat,” coach Orme said.
Two days later, Corydon Central jumped on Salem with four runs in the first inning and never looked back in an 8-1 victory.
Freshman twirler Jaiden Cantrell went the distance, fanning five with no walks and giving up six hits. She helped her own cause at the plate by driving in three runs on the evening.
The Lady Panthers banged out 11 hits in the win.
Gerlach, Orme and Gracyn Teeter all were 2 for 3 at the plate, while Erwin and Adams were both 2 for 4. Adams had two RBIs, and Teeter knocked in a run. Doubles were recorded by Orme, Adams, Erwin and Teeter, as well.
Brownstown Central 000 000 1 – 1 8 1
Corydon Central 020 010 x – 3 5 2
W – Orme. L – Huddleston. 2B – Erwin (CC), Adams (CC), Huddleston (BC), May (BC). HR – Gerlach (CC), Adams (CC).
Corydon Central 400 103 0 – 8 11 0
Salem 000 100 0 – 1 6 0
W – Cantrell. 2B – Orme (CC), Adams (CC), Erwin (CC), Teeter (CC). SB – Gerlach (CC).