Lady Highlanders bomb Corydon
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer
The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders were pulling no pranks on April Fool’s Day Thursday afternoon when they traveled to Corydon Central for their third straight road game to open their 2021 season. Despite efforts to stay in the game, the Lady Panthers succumbed to the Lady Highlanders’ bomber squadron, which pounded softballs over the fence during their 15-4, six-inning win.
“We heard the chatter all off-season that we didn’t have anything,” said Floyd Central girls’ coach Sean Payne, whose team won their third straight. “I think people are learning otherwise. We know what we’ve got and we’re confident in it, and we’re having fun doing it, too.”
“We fought back hard, and we didn’t give up,” said Corydon Central coach Kevin Oskin. “It’s just youthful now. We’ve only got two starters that have played a lot of minutes at the varsity level. They’re learning. I’ve got a very young group, and it’s the first varsity pitching for all three of my pitchers, so it’s a little bit of a process right now. I think they’ll get there. We’ve put them against two tough teams right at the beginning of the season. They’re fighters, so they’re not going to give up.”
Neither team could get started in the first inning with both Floyd Central and the Lady Panthers going three up and out. In the top of the second inning, however, the Lady Highlanders had an explosion of runs.
Kendall Brown began with a single and quickly stole second. Macy Wilkins followed with a single scoring Brown and putting the Lady Highlanders on the board first. Erica Endris walked, and Lavin Osborne laid down a bunt single to load the bases. Kate Satkoski singled scoring Wilkins and courtesy runner Alissa Flick. Reece Davis followed with a single to score Osborne and Wilkins. Peyton Drummond put a bunt single down scoring Davis then stole second. Another bunt single came from Kylie Franks to score Drummond. Franks and Riley Chumbley later scored as well, and the Lady Highlanders had a 9-0 lead.
“We missed some spots on our pitches, and they’ve got a really good hitting team,” Oskin said. “I’ll give them that. They got it going pretty good. It is what it is, and we’ll move on and try to make some corrections on it.”
Corydon Central got one of those back in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Bailey Orme reached first on a Floyd Central error then went to second and third on a wild pitch and passed ball. Jaiden Cantrell followed with a single scoring Orme, and the Lady Panthers were on the board.
Floyd Central got a base runner on in the top of the third but failed to convert. In the bottom of the inning, Corydon Central fought to get back into the game. Trystan Schreck and Isabella Gerlach punched in singles. Avery Adams then walked to load the bases for a big scoring threat with no outs. Grace Irwin struck out, but Lauryn Safstrom fired a long single scoring Schreck and Gerlach. Avery Branham reached first on an error, but the Lady Panthers failed to convert, closing the gap to 9-3.
“I’m not one for excuses, but I imagine the cold weather had them a little stiff,” Payne said. “I’m not worried about it because this is the best defense I’ve ever coached.”
The fourth inning went scoreless.
In the top of the fifth, Floyd Central pounded in two more runs. Wilkins walked to lead off. With one out, Osborne drilled a shot over the fence for two runs, and the Lady Highlanders lead went to 11-3. In the bottom of the inning, Corydon Central put another run across the plate when Gerlach fired a shot over the fence for a solo homer. Floyd Central’s lead was at 11-4.
The Lady Highlanders had one last blast in the top of the sixth. Franks started it with a lead-off home run. Chumbley was hit by a pitch, then, with one out, Wilkins fired a shot over the fence for two more runs. With two outs, Osborne got her second home run of the game, and Floyd Central’s advantage ballooned to 15-4. Corydon Central’s last bat saw just three batters, and Floyd Central had the win in six innings.
“We faced a little adversity today and, if we keep scoring runs, it’s good,” Payne said.
“Probably the one thing we need to work on is getting our pitchers a little bit more experience against bigger school teams,” Oskin said. “They did do a good job, but again they just missed a couple of spots. That’s just youthfulness. As they mature, they’ll get better.”
The Lady Highlanders finished with 14 hits for the game, Osborne led the way with three hits, including her two home runs. Davis had two hits as did Wilkins, Franks and Satkoski. Erica McCollough struck out five Corydon Central batters and walked one. Floyd Central had three errors for the day and left two runners on base.
“From top to bottom, we’re good,” Payne said. “They hit, played good defense. Tonight we had one inning that didn’t go well, but they put the fire out and did a really good job.”
Corydon Central tallied five hits for the day, with Gerlach punching in two hits, including her home run. Gracyn Teeter and Cantrell combined for six strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter. The Lady Panthers had no errors and left three runners on base.
“It kind of puts us in the place where we see what we need to work on the next couple of days and start cleaning it up and we’ll go from there,” said Oskin. “I think the girls are working hard but need to work a little bit harder to get to where we need to be by the season’s end.”
“I think the best thing that came out of it is we never gave up,” he said. “Our defense was fairly solid except for not getting a couple of bunts covered. That’s something we’re going to address, and we’ll be fine going forward.”
Floyd Central 090 024 – 15 14 3
Corydon Central 012 010 – 4 5 0
W-McCollough, L-Teeter; 1B-Brown (FC), Wilkins (FC), Osborne (FC), Satkoski (FC), Davis (FC) 2, Drummond (FC), Franks (FC), Chumbley (FC), Cantrell (CC), Schreck (CC), Gerlach (CC), Safstrom (CC); HR-Osborne (FC) 2, Gerlach (CC), Franks (FC), Wilkins (FC).