A four-run eighth inning lifted Bloomington South to a misleadingly comfortable 7-3 win over Seymour’s softball team on Thursday night.
The visiting Panthers earned the victory by finally solving Seymour freshman pitcher Taylor Stuckwisch, who entered in relief and for four innings held South scoreless.
In the game-deciding eighth, however, South’s Kinsey Clopton doubled to left field, scoring Carly Reed and breaking a 3-3 tie. The Panthers (11-5) then added three more runs on a sacrifice fly, another double and a passed ball.
“The final score wasn’t reflective of how the game went,” Seymour head coach Emily Bobb said. “We held them for four innings straight without a run. Our pitching looked good. Our defense was tight. That eighth inning is one you wish you could have back.”
Thursday’s loss ended the Owls’ incipient two-game win streak. Earlier in the week, Seymour (7-10) defeated Salem and Jennings County.
“I feel like we’re making progress,” Bobb said. “But until this point, we’ve sped up, slowed down, sped up, slowed down. I’d like to see us keep our foot on the gas, especially in the postseason when we need to keep that momentum going.”
Seymour looked like it was ready to move early against Bloomington South. The Owls’ offense opened quickly when Jamie Bobb’s infield single was immediately followed by a long home run to center by Abby Followell.
The homer was Followell’s third of the season and highlighted a two-hit, two-run night for the sophomore third baseman.
“We made a change in the lineup to bump her up from the third spot to the second spot to get some more production,” Bobb said. “I’m happy with how she did in that position. We just need everyone else to follow along.”
As a team, Seymour was limited to five total hits. Kendall Allman and Alexa Dannettelle each added a single to the hits produced by Bobb and Followell.
The Panthers, who ended with 15 hits, overcame the Owls’ early two-run lead with a three-run third inning that was punctuated by a Morgan Cockerill home run.
Seymour answered in its half of the third inning when junior Avery Stewart’s squeeze bunt knocked in Followell, who had earlier reached base on a hit by pitch.
With the game knotted at 3, both teams’ managers chose to relieve their starting pitchers. The result was a rare relief pitchers duel as Seymour’s Stuckwisch and South’s Clopton twirled shutouts over the next four innings.
Stuckwisch struck out five and walked none while throwing 91 pitches over five innings. The hard-throwing Clopton, meanwhile, struck out 10, walked two and allowed two hits in four innings of work.
“Once (Stuckwisch) settled in and started getting ahead in the count, she did a really good job,” Bobb said. “(Clopton) is probably the quickest pitcher we’ve seen until this point in the season.”
Seymour’s defensive effort was highlighted by Addyson Coomer, who made a stellar diving catch in center field, and Bobb, who snagged a sharp line drive at shortstop.
The Owls get a few days off before taking on Bedford North Lawrence on Tuesday.