Big inning is Owls’ downfall


For The Tribune

Both times Seymour faced Floyd Central in softball games this season, the Owls hung with the Highlanders for the early part of the game.

That gave Coach Brian Personett and the Seymour fans hopes for an upset.

But, just like in the first matchup, the Highlanders came up with a big inning and put any upset hopes the Owls might have to a quick ending.

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The Highlanders set 16 batters to the plate in the fourth inning, and 11 of them got hits and 10 of them scored as they pulled away to a 16-4 win in the opening game of the Class 4A Seymour Sectional on Monday afternoon.

The Owls, who were the visitors on the scoreboard, got off to a great start in the top of the first when Rachel Kaufman drew a walk.

Baylee Robinson fouled off five pitches on a 1-2 count before hitting a home run over the fence in left field.

The Highlanders got back one of those runs in the bottom of the first, then took advantage of two Seymour errors to score four unearned runs in the third to take a 6-2 lead.

With one out in the top of the fourth, Haley Mobley was hit by a pitch, and Avery Clark sent a long drive against the fence in left field.

The left fielder got glove on the ball but couldn’t hold on, and it went over the fence for a home run to make it a 6-4 score.

“Hats off to two of our seniors tonight,” Personett said. “They both had home runs tonight. Avery and Baylee played their last game; they were four-year players here and both had big home runs.

“Defensively we were making some plays. I really thought, going into the game, we were going to have to play a perfect ballgame, and for 2½ innings I thought we’re right here.

Castleberry had two hits and a walk and scored three runs, and Striegel had three hits and reached base safely on an error and also scored three runs. Both are juniors.

“With their short game, they just hit the ball where you’re not,” Personett said. “I’ve been around this game a long time, in ball-and-bat sports, and there’s just not much you can do about that.

“Their two at the top of the lineup, (Taylor) Castleberry and (Jensen) Striegel — I’ve coached slappers, I’ve been around slappers — they are the two best high school slappers I’ve ever seen with the bat control. The bottom line is they’re pretty good.”

The Highlanders (26-3) had 17 hits off three Seymour pitchers. All nine starters had at least one hit.

The only other hit for the Owls was a single by Lo Schmidt in the third inning. The Owls did not receive any walks and struck out five times.

The Owls finished 18-8 this season.

“You always want a couple more wins,” Personett said. “We’re going into the offseason with a pretty good mindset. We played Floyd Central twice, we played Roncalli. We got beat in all three of those games, but I think at the same time we learned from watching those teams. We learned what we need to look at as far as moving to the next step.”

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