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Big 5th lifts Lady Pack

May 20, 2009
The Crawford County softball team got a big fifth inning and then held off a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh to fend off host Perry Central for an 8-4 Patoka Lake Athletic Conference win last Monday afternoon.

Crawford County senior Amanda Toney, left, gives Perry Central catcher Cassy Schaad a bit of a nudge as she scores in the fifth inning of the Lady Pack’s 8-4 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"We're playing better," Crawford County coach Lonnie Presley said. "We're just not over that hump yet, not where I think we should be. We've just got to keep working at it."

"Crawford did a good job playing defense," Perry Central coach Greg Gibson said. "They didn't give us anything. It was a good high school softball game, back and forth. The difference was that one big inning."

Crawford County jumped on the board first with the help of two Lady Commodore errors. Perry, however, came back in the bottom of the second to tie the game up as it was Crawford County's turn to commit an error.

The Lady Pack jumped back in front, 2-1, in the third inning. Kayla Parr put down a bunt single and advanced to third base on Andi Suddareth's second double of the game. Parr came home on a wild pitch.

Crawford County's lead was short-lived, however. Another Lady Pack error allowed Cassy Schaad to reach second base, and, moments later, Tara Claise ripped a single to tie the game.

"With our record the way it is, we worry too much," Presley said. "Instead of playing to win, we're playing not to lose, and that kills you when you do that."

Amanda Toney scored following a double in the top of the fourth inning to give Crawford County a 3-2 edge.

Perry Central threatened in its half of the inning, when Haley Lewis reached second base, but failed to score.

Crawford County broke away in the top half of the next inning. With one out, Kayla Toney reached second base on a left-field error. She then advanced to third base on a Kim Holzbog ground-out. Another Perry Central error allowed Amanda Toney to reach first base and Kayla Toney to score.

Amanda Toney advanced to second base when Tori McLain walked, and then came home on a Kristi Luttrell single. The Lady Pack weren't done, however, as Carolyn Pellman kept the string going with a single to plate two runs and then scored herself on another Perry error, to give Crawford County an 8-2 lead.

"Usually, it takes three or four innings to get to a pitcher, if you're going to get to them at all," Presley said. "I think that inning we did. We finally put some hits together in a row."

Perry Central got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning and then loaded the bases in the home half of the seventh inning, when Crawford County freshman Nikki Novak pitcher walked the first three batters. After a talk with Presley, however, Novak found her groove. The Lady Commodores pushed one of the runners across the plate, but that was it as Novak put away the next three batters for the 8-4 Lady Pack win.

"Nikki, she listens," Presley said. "She's trying to work on her game, and that's all we ask. For a freshman to come into a varsity game and pitch the last two innings, it's got to be nerve-wracking."

"There, at the end, we had a couple of balls hit in places and they made the plays," Gibson said. "The last play where we had the fly ball to left, she (Trista Wyman) made a decent play on. We put the ball at play at times, and it just didn't happen tonight."

Crawford County collected nine hits, with Suddareth swinging for two doubles and a single and Pellman rapping two singles. From the pitching circle, Pellman struck out four batters while hitting one. Novak walked three batters, and the Lady Pack committed two errors.

"Andi had three hits and the last game we played she had three, so Andi's been hitting the ball real well," Presley said. "Andi's been trashing it. She plays hard and she listens."

Perry Central finished with six hits, led by Schaad's two singles. Hurler Kristi Brumsfield struck out eight batters and walked two. Errors were a factor, however, as the Lady Commodores finished with four.

"They took advantage of some things that we gave them in that one inning and we didn't respond the rest of the way to close the gap," Gibson said. "We had a couple of times where we had people on base, but just didn't get them in. That's a problem all year we've got to get better at."

"We still are not swinging the bat like I want them to swing," Presley said. "We still have lazy swings, and sometimes we're a little bit lazy in the field going after stuff. We need to be aggressive in the field, and we're not there yet."

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