Misplays cost Lady Cubs 6-2 setback in HCAC tourney
Errors and poor execution doomed Madison softball in a 6-2 loss to Seymour in the opening round of the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament on Monday at Lady Cub Field. The Lady Cubs committed four errors which led directly to five unearned runs and missed every bunt they attempted at the plate in the losing effort. The lack of execution left Madison coach Tony Ralston shaking his head in frustration. “If we had just come and played we could have won this game,” Ralston said. “We’ve got to understand that we’ve got to be sharp every day. We can’t just choose what days we want to do it. Give Seymour credit, they hit the ball, but when it’s hit to you, you’ve got to do the fundamentals that we teach every day. That’s what’s frustrating. I know the girls are better than that.” Madison (8-9) gave up an unearned run in the top of the first to fall behind 1-0 early but rallied to score two runs in the third thanks to a costly error by Seymour on what should have been the third out. But the Lady Cubs couldn’t maintain that momentum. An overthrow to first on the first batter of the fourth opened the door for two Seymour runs and two doubles sandwiched around an error led to two more runs for the Owls in the fifth. Another error in the sixth cost Madison a final Seymour run. Madison, meanwhile, couldn’t answer thanks in large part to poor execution. The Cubs had runners on base in each of the final four innings but failed to move them over with bunts each time. Madison put two on the seventh but stranded both. Failing to move runners over was almost as frustrating to Ralston as his team’s errors. Five times he had batters square to bunt and each time they failed to get one down. “We put runners in scoring position but we couldn’t move them over and we couldn’t put a ball in play,” Ralston said. “If you can put the ball in play and put people in motion, sometimes things will happen. They don’t always happen but at least you give yourselves a chance and we weren’t doing that today.” The poor execution ruined a good start by Cub ace Alexis Wolf, who scattered eight hits over seven innings while striking out four and walking one. Only one of the runs scored against her was earned. “Alexis did a good job. She is pitching against some good competition and her record might not stand out, but man, she battles out there and she gives us her best effort out there every night,” Ralston said. “I’m proud of the way she’s pitching and leading this team. It’s just that we’ve got to do a better job of executing. But we’re going to keep battling.” Abigail Stidham had a hit and scored a run while Hannah Imel, Wolf and Kennedy Stidham each had hits for the Cubs. Bailey Dyer scored a run. Haley Mobley was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI while Lorelei Schmidt was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Seymour. Rachel Kaufman struck out 10 and walked four in seven innings to get the win. The loss sends Madison to the consolation side of the bracket where it will visit Class 4A No. 9 Bedford North Lawrence on Wednesday. The Stars lost to Floyd Central 3-1 on Monday. In other HHC first-round games, Jeffersonville beat Columbus East 3-1 and Jennings County defeated New Albany 7-1.
Trimble scores five runs late in 6-1 win over Grant County
Tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Trimble County softball broke through for two runs in the fifth and another three in the sixth to beat Grant County 6-1 in the Raiders’ annual “Strike Out Cancer” game on Monday in Bedford. Playing six months to the day after former Trimble softball coach Tonya Black lost her battle to cancer, the Raiders produced the kind of game-winning rally that would have made their former coach proud - a pair of patient walks followed by a clutch game-winning hit. Kaila Lira and Kailey Burns ignited the rally in the fifth by drawing the back-to-back walks to lead off the inning and senior Kaylee Clifford made Grant (13-13) pay for the mistakes by pounding a hard-hit grounder to left field with one out to score both Lira and Burns for a 3-1 lead. Trimble pitcher Abby Ponder allowed only one more Grant baserunner the rest of the game while the Raiders came back to score three more runs in the sixth when Ponder and Morgan Mahoney led off with back-to-back singles, advanced on a one-out sacrifice bunt by Lira that scored Ponder before Mahoney came home on a wild pitch. Clifford then drew a two-out walk before a single by Kate Staples brought home Lira for the final margin. Trimble rapped out eight hits in the game. Clifford was 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, Staples was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Ponder and Mahoney were both 1 for 3 with a run each. Lira was 0 for 1 but had an RBI and scored twice. Senior Shelbe Black, the youngest daughter of the former coach, was 1-for-4. Ponder went the distance, tossing a two-hitter with four strikeouts and two walks. Grant’s lone run was unearned. As part of the “Strike Out Cancer” themed game, the team purchased and placed a granite bench at the ballpark in the memory of Tanya Black. Trimble (8-13) visits Walton-Verona Wednesday.
Other Games ...
Milan softball tore through Switzerland County to the tune of 21-1 on Monday at home. The Indians collected 18 hits and took advantage of five Switzerland errors and 10 walks to blow open the game. Switzerland (2-11, 2-7 ORVC) visits Oldenburg on Wednesday. Carroll County’s softball team lost 6-3 at Western Hills on Monday. The Lady Panthers, now 10-16 on the season, host Shelby County today.