For The Tribune

Seymour’s softball team came up with clutch hits in four different innings to score runs and defeat Jeffersonville 6-4 at home Friday afternoon in the third-place game of the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament.

Jeffersonville scored runs in the top of the first, fourth and sixth innings, and the Owls came right back with two-out hits to score in the bottom of those innings to get the momentum right back in their favor. Seymour also scored a run in the second inning.

Jeffersonville’s first two batters in the top of the first had a single and a double, and it was quickly 1-0. The Red Devils had another hit in the inning for a 2-0 lead.

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The Owls didn’t wait long to light up their side of the scoreboard. With one out in the bottom of the first, Haley Westfall drew a walk, Lo Schmidt singled and Faith Rebber doubled to score both runners. Kate Snook followed with another single and an RBI.

Owls coach Jerry Burton said those runs gave his team a big lift.

“The biggest of that (two-out scoring) was the first inning when we scored with two outs,” he said. “I believe we got three hits back-to-back-to-back, and that was a key because they jumped out 2-0.

“We had some really key hits from a lot of different players tonight,” he said. “That was one thing I was happy about. A lot of kids picked it up with two outs and got a base hit because I had a feeling we were going to need all the runs that we could score, so yeah, it was a nice job by the group tonight.”

McKenna Curry reached first base safely on a dropped third strike leading off the bottom of second. With two outs, Snook singled to center field to score Curry for a 4-2 lead.

After Jeffersonville used two hits to close the gap to 4-3 in the top of the fourth, Jozie Nicholson singled with one out in the bottom of the inning, and following an infield out, Tori Snook singled to drive in Nicholson.

The Red Devils had a double, a wild pitch and an infield out to score its final run in the top of the sixth.

Tori Snook led off the bottom of the inning by reaching first base on a fielder’s choice, and Westfall singled to produce the final run of the night.

Burton said the ability of his team to match the Red Devils with runs in the bottom of the first, fourth and sixth was key.

“Because if they put something on the board, you want to match them,” he said. “The run in the sixth was big because it gave us a two-run lead.”

Eight different Owls had hits. Schmidt went 3-for-3 with a run, Tori Snook had two hits and two RBI, Rebber had a double and two RBI and Westfall and Kate Snook had a hit and an RBI.

Neither team committed an error, and both center fielders, Westfall and the Red Devils’ Cassidy Bott, made some excellent catches.

“Both teams made some very good plays,” Burton said, as his team also turned a double play.

Mikayla Moore went the distance on the mound for the Owls and had three strikeouts and no walks and allowed 10 hits.

“I think Mikayla’s probably a little tired,” Burton said. “She pitched well when she needed to. There were some times she left the ball over the plate, but when she had to go hard in, she did a nice job and handcuffed them. She was having trouble throwing a change-up. She got them out with a fastball.”

Burton said this was a good way to finish the HHC Tournament.

“We’ve got three games (today), and the thing I’d like to do is just keep working on the hitting,” he said.

“We’d like to be more consistent with our hitting and play good defense.”

Today, the Owls (13-4) will play in a tournament at Greenfield, facing Greensburg at 10:30 a.m. and then playing two other games later in the day.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.