Seymour High School’s quest for its first sectional softball title is still on track.
The Owls scored runs in five of six innings at the plate in a 12-6 victory over Jeffersonville in Sectional 15 quarterfinals action Monday.
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The Owls (21-2) will play Floyd Central (19-13) tonight in the semifinals at Jeffersonville. The Highlanders beat New Albany 10-0 in six innings last night.
In the regular season, the Owls posted a 6-1 win over the Highlanders. Floyd has won four of the last five sectional titles.
“We did what we needed to do to win tonight,” Owls coach Jerry Burton said after the win over the Red Devils. “One of the things we said after the game was that we need to play better (Tuesday). This won’t get it done (Tuesday). We have some things we need to improve, but we did what had to to move on.”
After senior pitcher Rachel Kaufman struck out the first three Jeff batters, the Owls scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Grace Meyer led off with a single before Kaufman brought her in with a hit to center field. The Owls had two runners on base before a hard hit by Kate Snook was dropped in center field by the Red Devils, allowing Chloe Mellencamp and Carlee Robinson to score.
The Red Devils responded with two runs in the second frame on four hits and an SHS error. Jeff’s Nan Garcia stole home on an errant throw by the Owls, from the catcher to second base, before an RBI single from Taylor Shelton cut the Red Devils’ deficit to one.
The Owls answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to make it 5-3. After loading the bases with a single, error, and walk, Kaufman sacrificed to center field to score Stephanni Kleber. The Owls then scored on another Jeff error, as Grace Rennekamp came home from third base after a pickoff attempt went behind her on a throw by the catcher.
The Red Devils’ bats stayed hot in the third, as Nan Garcia blasted a two-run homer over the center field fence to cut the Owls lead to 5-4.
Seymour answered with its own long ball.
Snook blasted a solo homer in the bottom of the third to center field, on a 2-0 pitch, to put the Owls back up two.
After Kaufman struck out the next three batters, Rennekamp slammed a solo home run to left field to make it 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Owls added five runs in the fifth, as Kleber hit an RBI single down the third base line to get the Owls offense going.
The Owls had loaded bases, with two outs after Meyer was intentionally walked, when Kaufman hit a single to score two. On the same play, a third SHS baserunner came home as Kaufman attempted to make it to second base. Kaufman was caught in a pickle, but dove and made it to second base safely as the Owls went up 11-4. Mellencamp, who pinch ran for Kaufman, scored the final run of the game on a passed ball.
Jeff’s Casey Schweitzer hit a two-run home run to center field in the final inning, but the Red Devils couldn’t’ make the comeback.
The Owls outhit the Red Devils 12-8 in the game.
“I think it was a hitters night,” Burton said. “The ball carried really well, but there were some plays we didn’t make. We had some mental mistakes.”
In the circle, Kaufman struck out 12, walked one and had five earned runs.
Burton said the team is excited for the start of the postseason, and isn’t looking past any opponent.
“We’re ready for whoever we play,” Burton said. “It’s just one game at a time.”