By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – Monday’s slow-pitch softball contest between Kossuth High and New Albany High boiled down to which team strung together the most hits.
In a matchup between two teams which have already clinched their division titles – Kossuth in MHSAA’s Division 1-3A; New Albany in 1-4A – the visiting Lady Aggies overcame a 4-0 deficit by piecing together nine hits late in the ball game to come away with a 5-4 victory in eight innings.
“We played the same at Belmont the other night,” said Lady Aggies coach Steve Lyles, whose team only recorded three hits through the first five innings. “We got 12 hits, but we’re just not putting it together. Two pitches and two outs and then we have to try to do something.
“But it was a total team effort today. We had girls come off the bench and do the job.”
The Lady Aggies (14-9) received four consecutive singles from Jordan Dickson (2 for 4), Annaleigh Coleman, Paden Tomlin and Madison Hales to plate three runs in the top of the sixth. Coleman, Tomlin and Hales came through with RBI singles to pull the Lady Aggies within a run at 4-3.
Brianna Bryan’s sacrifice fly to center scored McKenzie Holland with the tying run the following inning, and Tomlin’s second hit of the game scored Dana Glissen with the eventual winning run in the top of the eighth.
Eryn Coleman (10-5) pitched the final two innings to earn the win.
The Lady Bulldogs (11-14) scored four runs in the bottom of the first off Kossuth starter Lainna Mullins, as all 10 ladies in the lineup batted. Morgan Beaty delivered an RBI double to left – the only extra-base hit of the game – and Shaneka Cullins and Megan Dye (2 for 3) each had run-scoring singles. A throwing error led to another run in the frame.
The Lady Bulldogs only had five hits the rest of the game – the same amount they had in the first inning.
“Our big hitters got up on their front foot, reaching,” said Lady Bulldogs coach Shane Sanderson. “A couple of them came through and got up there and did what they were supposed to. But unfortunately, it was in spots and it wasn’t good enough to get runs in.”