Owls post 10th victory with win over Pirates

While what could prove to be the biggest game of the regular season was still a day away, Seymour High School’s softball team couldn’t look past the task at hand.

The Owls scored seven runs in the third inning before cruising to a 10-3 win over Charlestown Monday.

Now, SHS aims to make some noise in the Hoosier Hills Conference race.

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The Owls take a 10-1, 3-0 HHC record into tonight’s contest at Floyd Central.

Since the turn of the century, the Highlanders have largely dominated the conference.

The Highlanders (10-6, 4-0 HHC) haven’t given up the HHC title in three years, and Floyd has won at least a share of the HHC in 12 of the past 19 seasons.

The Owls have never captured the HHC crown.

Owls coach Jerry Burton said it was important for his team to not look past the Pirates, and that they enter tonight’s game with a win behind them.

After two scoreless innings, the Pirates hit back-to-back doubles to put runners on the bases. Freshman pitcher Savannah Gaither then stepped to the plate and blasted a home run left-center field to put the Pirates up 3-0.

Seymour didn’t take long to respond, as it took the lead in the bottom of the frame.

Jozie Nicholson was walked and Grace Rennekamp hit a double to get the Owls’ offense rolling before Rachel Kaufman was intentionally walked. With the bases loaded, Nicholson scored on a wild pitch and Rennekamp came in on a passed ball to cut the deficit to 3-2. With two outs, Camryn Sterling’s hit brought two runners in to put the Owls ahead 4-3.

Kate Snook caused some ruckus with the next at-bat.

Snook stepped to the plate and smashed a homer off the scoreboard in center field — which caused the fourth inning boxes to malfunction — to extend the Owls’ lead to 6-3.

The Owls added a seventh run when Nicholson singled to score courtesy runner Chloe Mellencamp.

In the fourth inning, Grace Meyer hit a double before eventually crossing home plate on an error by the Pirates’ center field to put the Owls ahead 8-3.

Seymour added two more runs in the sixth inning, as Carlee Robinson clobbered a two-run homer to put the game out of reach.

“I thought we got off to a slow start before the seven-run inning,” Burton said. “I told them we can’t come out that slow against Floyd. We need to be more focused.”

Stephanni Kleber went the distance in the circle for the Owls. Kleber finished with 10 strikeouts while giving up five hits, two walks and three earned runs.

Burton said that Kleber improved as the game went on.

“A lot of it was Stephanni’s location and getting ahead in the count,” he said.

The Owls had nine total hits, with a different player recording each one.

Burton knows his team faces a tough task against Floyd Central, but has faith in the players.

“We’ve had some good battles (with Floyd),” Burton said. “I expect a good game. If one team is off a little bit, it might not be a close game. They have to be at their best, and we have to be at our best, to really have a good game. I expect both teams to go at it.”