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Floyd pounds Lady Pioneers, 13-3


April 07, 2010
Despite being plagued with a host of injuries even before the season began, the Floyd Central Lady Highlanders kicked off the 2010 softball season with a 13-3 win over visiting Providence last Tuesday afternoon.

Floyd Central coach Joe Witten
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"We're playing some immature players, with the positions that they learned that's new to them," Floyd Central coach Joe Witten said. "Some of them, this game was their first game in certain positions, and we've had to move so much because we've just had so many injuries.

"Today, we had a girl lacerate her eyelid, and one of our girls reinjured her knee, though not severely, but enough where we're going to ice her and give her a day off. We have a sore arm, so with 11 or 12 players (on) your roster, that gets kind of shallow. We've been a force and we've been healthy for many years, but this is one of those where we really have to take care of our own than more than anything."

BROWN
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Floyd Central’s Emily Brown (8) avoids a tag by Providence’s Katie Flanagan as Mariah Cochran offers backup.
The Lady Pioneers made Floyd Central work early as they took a 1-0 lead as the Lady Highlanders struggled through a host of errors in the first inning. In the bottom of the first, however, Floyd Central bounced back with hits from Ryan Meza and Emily Brown. Brown's bunt single led to Meza crossing the plate, and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Batliner scored Brown to put Floyd Central in front, 2-1.

Providence went scoreless in the top of the second, but Floyd Central used four hits in the bottom of the inning for two more runs and a 4-1 lead.

Providence stayed in the game, however, as Allie Gillewater walked and went to second on a steal and then third on a passed ball. Adrienne Voelker singled, and Gillewater scored to close the gap to 4-2.

The Lady Pioneers again went scoreless in the fourth inning, but Floyd Central put two more runs on the board in its half of the inning to lead 6-2.

Providence continued to stay in the hunt, however, as Taylor Rockfy doubled in the fifth inning and Voelker got a hit to push her home.

The Lady Highlander bats, however, exploded in the bottom of the inning. Batliner, who led off with a double, scored on a Jenna Allen single. Meghan McRae walked, and Kate Kaiser doubled to score Allen. Another walk, to Kallie Krammes, was followed by an error that allowed Ashley Robertson to reach safely and score Kaiser. Krammes then scored on a passed ball to Meza, and Robertson put up another run as Paige Davis grounded out. Brown then singled to score Meza and Floyd Central had the 13-3 win.

"I had a hunch it was going to be a battle," Witten said. "For four innings, it was a ball game that you couldn't tell who was going to come out on top."

Kaiser led the Lady Highlander bats, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, and Brown and Allen each added two hits. Floyd Central, however, struggled in the field with four errors. Hurler Alex Engleman struck out five and walked three.

"She hit the ball really hard twice," Witten said of Kaiser. "Two times she put it in play and good things happened. She's really worked exceptionally hard in here hitting in the off-season. She's a determined individual to impress not only the coaches but her teammates and trying to build respect, because she's a hard worker."

About Engleman, Witten said, "She's about as honest as the day is long. She always will come out and then she'll work hard and throw strikes. She's not going to strike out many, but she's not going to walk too many. The girls are going to take some nice cuts, and we just hope to make some plays."

Voelker led the Providence offense with two hits. Two Lady Pioneer pitchers combined for two strikeouts and two walks.

Witten said the key for the season is getting his team back in good health. With two injured pitchers and two more injuries during this game, he is having to dig into his junior varsity team earlier than expected.

"Our No. 2 pitcher (Batliner), she's still not able to pitch, but she's our best first baseman," said Witten, who also is missing pitcher Samantha McClue due to a torn hamstring. "I had to move (Batliner) to shortstop later in the game because our shortstop (Allen), who's our second baseman, it's all those kinds of stories, got injured. So, you just have to earn every penny out here this year, where usually in the past you could put some good players out there and they would make you look good. We really have to take care of our health more than anything."

"Now, we've got a week to ice the bones," Witten said. "We're a long way away from where we were last year. Our goal is to maybe get back there, but our ultimate goal is to play with intensity every day, and the results will take care of themselves. I think we'll be competitive, but if we'd have played a more experienced team tonight, they probably (would have) exposed even more of our weaknesses."

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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