Plating 11 of their 17 runs with two outs lit up on the purple scoreboard, the Class 4A No. 5 Floyd Central softball team defined clutch hitting Friday night.
The Highlanders pounded out 20 hits to secure a 17-5 win against Seymour and the school’s 13th Hoosier Hills Conference Championship title.
It was Seymour’s first championship game appearance in the annual conference tournament.
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With two outs, the Highlanders’ Madeline Probus hit an RBI single down the third base line to go up 1-0 in the opening inning.
Floyd Central senior pitcher Kassie King struck out two and held the Owls hitless to start the game.
The Highlanders’ Taylor Castleberry hit a flare RBI single to center field to go up 2-0 in the second inning.
A hit by Jensen Striegel caused an error at the Owls’ center field and Castleberry came in from second base for the Highlanders’ third score.
Owls junior Faith Rebber blasted a two-run homer to center field to cut the deficit to 3-2 after two innings.
An error in right field allowed Probus to reach third base in the third inning before Floyd Central’s Jenna Endris hit an RBI single to center field.
Dallas Henderson then managed an RBI single towards second base to give the Highlanders a 5-2 advantage.
Floyd kept the hits rolling in the third, as Paige Meyer followed with an RBI single to third base.
The Highlanders scored three runs on four hits in the third.
Seymour then answered with three runs of their own.
The Owls’ Lo Schmidt managed an RBI single to make it 6-3, and Rebber smashed a two-run triple to the fence down the first base line to pull the Owls within one.
Floyd Central didn’t look back the rest of the way.
A two-run homer to center field by senior Gabbi Jenkins put the Highlanders up 8-5 to start the fourth inning and a passed ball then brought Probus in from third base to home.
With Jenkins’ homer, each member of the Highlanders’ batting lineup recorded a hit.
In the top of the fifth, Probus hit a 2 RBI single and Endris followed with an RBI double for Floyd.
A throwing error from the Owls’ shortstop to first base allowed Endris to score before Brooke Smith hit an RBI single to put Floyd up 14-5.
Smith blasted a 3-run home run over the center field fence in the seventh to add an exclamation mark in the night.
Freshman Rachel Kaufman was charged the loss in the circle while Kassie King picked up the win. King shared the pitching load with Letson and Lexie Heeke.
On May 23, Floyd Central (23-3) will return to Seymour (15-4) for the first round of the sectional.