HED:No. 1 Kossuth cruises to win
By D.E. Wheeler
NEW ALBANY – Keeping their division fate within their own control is the goal of the Kossuth Lady Aggies slow-pitch softball at this point in the season.
Mission accomplished by the No. 1 ranked team in the Daily Journal Super 7 Softball Poll Tuesday against Division 1-3A foe New Albany as the Lady Aggies downed the Lady Bulldogs 14-5.
“We don’t want to have to depend on somebody else (to make the playoffs),” said Kossuth head coach Alan Wood. “It’s important for us to have the teams behind us with two loses.”
With New Albany (8-4, 1-2) hanging tough early, it took two over-the-fence home runs in the top of the fifth inning to give Kossuth (18-0, 4-0) breathing room in this game and maintain the lead within the division.
The first of the two home runs was a line drive to left field by sophomore Ashley Jones, who has 10 for the season – nine over-the-fence. Two batters later, Serra Vansandt followed Jones’ three-run shot with a two-run home run to center field.
Those two blows accounted for all five of Kossuth’s runs in the fifth, pushing its lead from 4-3 to 9-3.
“That big inning was key,” Wood said. “Early in the year, we were consistent with our scoring, but lately we’ve been relying on the big inning.
“I don’t know if that’s good, but so far everybody seems to be picking everybody up.”
The game had started out with plenty of runs early. Three singles and an error plated two runs for Kossuth while an over-the-fence home run by Starranna Frazier in the bottom of the inning gave New Albany a 3-2 lead.
Then in the fourth inning, a single by Heather Nails, coupled with a fielding error on the play, plated two runs for Kossuth, giving them a 4-3 lead.
Following the five-run fifth, Kossuth plated three insurance runs in the sixth on three hits and a walk.
Frazier hit her second over-the-fence home run in the bottom of the fifth, accounting for all five New Albany RBI, but that was not enough for the Lady Bulldogs.
“You can’t make mistakes against Kossuth,” said New Albany head coach Mike Hearn, who saw his Lady Bulldogs commit six errors. “And we had a few dry spots in the order where we couldn’t ring the bell.
“This win gave them a leg up on first place, with the rest of us fighting for second.”
New Albany plays at Saltillo and Kossuth hosts Ripley Thursday.