For The Tribune
Rachel Kaufman had an outing to remember Monday, pitching a perfect game and hitting a home run to lead Seymour to a 13-0 softball win at Brownstown Central.
The freshman Kaufman had nine strikeouts, 10 infield ground-outs, a pop out to the shortstop and a fly to center.
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The hardest ball the Braves hit came off the bat of Katelyn Gray when she hit a fly ball to Seymour center fielder Haley Westfall for the final out of the game.
“The last fly ball there to center field, Michelle (Shattuck, assistant coach) had a hold of my arm and said, ‘Make the catch, make the catch,’ and she did,” Owls coach Brian Personett said.
Kaufman said she began her pitching in the youth leagues in Seymour.
“This fall, with my travel team I pitched a perfect game,” she said. “My travel team is out of Mooresville, and I pitched the no hitter in Edinburgh. We were playing 16-and-under.
“It feels pretty good. We were mixing it up a lot, throwing a lot of change-ups.”
“We really kind of challenged her today, and she certainly rose to the occasion,” Personett said. “The thing I liked was her getting ahead of the batters.”
Kaufman threw first-pitch strikes to the first 18 batters she faced.
“We were really mixing it up,” Personett said. “She was throwing a screwball, she was throwing a drop curve, just kind of mixing it in and out, and we went up quite a bit. (Jay) Schmidt was calling the game. I thought he called a good game, and she hit her spots. She was pretty sharp today.”
In his sixth year as the Owls’ head coach, Personett couldn’t recall coaching a no-hitter.
“(Lack of hitting) has been our problem all year except Columbus North,” Braves coach Monte Ault said. “Our problem has been not getting anybody on base to score. I’m disappointed in our hitting. I know (Kaufman) is a good pitcher. We take a lot of batting practice. It’s not the same when you’re facing live pitching.
“Mainly what it’s got to do with is who is doing the pitching on the other team. She had a nice change-up, an off-speed pitch. She came back with a fastball and we didn’t make hardly any contact.”
Personett said he liked the way his team was swinging the bat as the Owls collected 15 hits and only struck out once.
“We were hitting the ball hard,” he said. “Sooner or later those balls are going to go through.”
In the top of the first, Baylee Robinson was safe on a fielder’s choice and scored on an infield out by Katie Suits for a 1-0 lead. McKenna Curry was safe on a fielder’s choice in the second inning, stole second, advanced to third on a hit by Haley Mobley and scored on an error for a 2-0 lead.
Kauffman doubled and scored on a single by Schmidt in the fifth, while Tori Snook doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice by Curry in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.
The Owls (7-0) sent 12 batters to the plate in the sixth with seven getting hits, there were two Brownstown Central errors, and nine runs scored.
Clark and Suits both had two-run singles, and Kaufman hit a two-run dinger.
Kaufman, Schmidt and Mobley each had three hits; Suits had three RBIs, and Kaufman scored three runs.
“The pitches are throwing strikes, we’re playing defense behind them and we’re putting runs on the board,” Personsett said, “We’ve got New Albany at home (today). It’s going to be a stiff challenge.”
The Braves (2-7) will make up a conference game at Pekin (Eastern) today.