News and Tribune
Floyd Central broke a scoreless tie in the fourth and scored seven runs in its final three at-bats to score a 7-0 win against visiting Seymour in the semifinal round of the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
Over the final three frames, the Highlanders finally got to Seymour starter Mikayla Moore for nine hits.
“They have so many weapons,” Seymour coach Jerry Burton said of the 19-7 Highlanders, who have won 13 of their past 15 games. “You’ve got to really play a perfect game to beat them.”
Floyd will host Jennings County on Friday in defense of its HHC championship. The Panthers defeated Jeffersonville 7-5 in the other semifinal.
Once the Highlanders put up some runs, Abby Letson did the rest. She allowed just two hits — singles by Tori Snook and Haley Westfall in the fifth inning — and struck out nine Owls. She struck out the side in the second and seventh innings.
With two outs in the fourth, the Highlanders made their move. Dallas Henderson started the rally with a double.
After a walk to Jenna Endris and an infield single by Letson, Moore hit Alexis McCullough on the foot to force home Henderson for the game’s first run.
Paige Meyer followed with a single to left field to plate Endris and Letson for a 3-0 Highlander advantage.
“If you look at it, we were putting the ball in play. It was just right at them,” Floyd Central coach Troy Striegel said of the first three innings. “That’s what we told them tonight, just keep working hard, keep hitting the ball and they’ll fall.”
A questionable call helped Floyd score all three of its runs.
Letson’s grounder to shortstop was fielded by Faith Rebber, who tagged second base with Endris approaching. Endris was called safe on a call that could have ended the inning with the game still scoreless.
“That game was decided by a call at second base that was missed, to be honest,” Burton said. “The umpire missed the call. It was that simple.”
With one out in the fourth, freshman Taryn Weddle made it 4-0 with a home run well over the left-field fence.
It was her fourth home run of the season.
With two outs, Letson helped her own cause with two-run single past second base.
Letson went 2-for-2 with a run and two RBIs in the win.
The bottom of the Highlanders’ order did most of the damage. The last five Floyd batters produced four runs and four RBIs. Henderson’s sacrifice fly brought home Jensen Striegel with the game’s final run.
Despite the loss, Burton liked the way his team challenged one of the state’s best teams.
“Our kids competed,” he said. “Overall, I thought they did a good job. In a game like that, one key call, one big play makes a big difference.”
The Owls will face Jeffersonville in the third-place game Friday at home.