May 01, 2019The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders suffered a bit of a setback last Tuesday when visiting Seymour came in and hit the ball all over the ball field for a 6-1 Hoosier Hills Conference softball win. Errors on the part of the Lady Highlanders didn't help their cause either as the Lady Owls took complete advantage of every mistake.
"The difference is they came out wanting to hit and made defensive plays, where we had our opportunities to make them and we did not," Floyd Central coach Sean Payne said.
The first three innings were purely defensive, with neither team getting more than three players to the plate in each at-bat.
In the top of the second, Seymour's Jozie Nicholson tried to stretch a single into a double but was gunned down on the play. That play also proved costly for the Lady Highlanders, with shortstop Cassie Thomerson getting spiked in the lower leg. Thomerson, who left the game briefly, would need stitches after the game.
Floyd Central's Molly Sneed takes a hard fall when she tries to get to this ball against Seymour. The Lady Highlanders suffered a 6-1 loss to the Lady Owls.
"When you see your leader go down, it's tough to see," Payne said. "Luckily, she's a player and she went back out there and made some plays for us."
The top of the fourth inning saw the Lady Owls get on the board first. Alyssa Perry singled and moved second on a Rachel Kaufman sacrifice bunt. Grace Meyer walked and Carlee Robinson got a short single to fall to load the bases. With two outs, Floyd Central had two major errors. Meyer and Perry scored, and Seymour had a 2-0 lead.
"That hurt," Payne said of Thomerson's injury. "They scored those two runs on a play that Cassie would have made that play. That kind of set the tone for them instead of it being a 0-0 game still."
Floyd Central fought to get back in the game in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Taryn Weddle ripped a double off the right field fence, then Dallas Henderson singled. Thomerson, who re-entered the game after getting bandaged up, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. It would go for naught, however, as Madison Wathen struck out to end the inning.
The Lady Owls extended their lead with three more runs in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Kaufman singled and Meyer reached first on another Floyd Central error. Robinson singled to score courtesy runner Chloe Mellencamp. Camryn Sterling then singled to score Meyer. Kate Snook followed with a double to score Robinson, and the Seymour lead ballooned to 5-0.
"I've scouted them several times, and I told this team they were going to come out hitting," Payne said. "We're not hitting and it's carrying over to other areas and mostly into the dugout, just being up and energetic. That plays a role in on-field performance."
The bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth innings went scoreless. However, in the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Highlanders finally got on the board. With one out, Bailey McLean singled and Weddle followed with her second double of the day. Henderson grounded out to second base, but she got an RBI when McElean scored, cutting Seymour's lead to 5-1.
Seymour, however, put another nail in Floyd Central's coffin in the top of the seventh. Kaufman began the inning with a single, then Meyer hit into a fielder's choice, with Kaufman being forced out on the play. Snook got her second hit with a long single that scored Meyer. The Lady Owls threatened to put more across the plate, loading the bases, but the Floyd Central defense held, leaving the score at 6-1.
The Lady Highlanders managed just a single base runner in the bottom of the inning, and Seymour went home with the HHC win.
Payne said Seymour came in with more aggressiveness, going the extra mile on a number of defensive plays.
"That's just athleticism and desire," he said. "It's something we're struggling with."
Floyd Central finished with just four hits, with Weddle getting two of those with her doubles. From the pitching circle, Wathen struck out three and walked one. The Lady Highlanders had three errors and left four runners on base.
"It was really just a selfish approach to the plate," Payne said. "We knew what she (Kaufman) was going to throw, and instead of going through the game plan, we had people not doing anything. We had six spots in the order that produces absolutely nothing. That's not OK. We've got one of our big hitters that's been out since the Tennessee trip, and not having that extra bat and a spot in the order, it's tough."
Seymour had 11 hits, with Robinson, Kaufman and Snook getting two each. Kaufman struck out eight Floyd Central batters, walked one and hit one. The Lady Owls had no errors and left eight runners on base.
When asked what his team would do to rebound from the loss, Payne's answer was simple: "Coming back tomorrow and beat Bedford."
The Lady Highlanders did just that, blanking the Lady Stars 10-0 in six innings.
Seymour 000 230 1 - 6 11 0
Floyd Central 000 001 0 - 1 4 3
W-Kaufman. L-Wathen. 1B-Nicholson (S) 2, Perry (S), Robinson (S) 2, Henderson (FC), Kaufman (S) 2, C. Sterling (S) 2, McLean (S), Snook (S); 2B-Weddle (FC) 2, Snook (S). Records-Seymour 8-0, Floyd Central 10-7.