BY GREG FLINT
VEEDERSBURG, Ind. —
Covington was supposed to host Fountain Central in softball on Tuesday. When the rain forced a postponement, the Trojans stayed inside and took batting practice.
“We’ve been working on hitting and the girls volunteered to stay and do some more,” said their head coach, Ryan Sowers after the practice. “We’re working on being smarter at the plate.”
After struggling on Saturday against Riverton Parke, Sowers said he was hoping the extra practice would help when his team traveled to face the Mustangs on Thursday.
He did not get his wish as Fountain Central defeated Covington 9-3.
“It didn’t carry forward,” said Sowers about the hitting practice. “We looked good on Tuesday, but we couldn’t get the hits we needed today. Add four errors and you don’t get a win.”
Yet it was his team that scored first as Madison Hanson walked to start the second inning, moved to second on a single by Regan Foster and scored on another single by Meghan Hall to make it 1-0.
One thing that has pleased Fountain Central coach Allison Alexander about her team this year is that they seem to respond immediately to scores by their opponents.
Thursday was no exception as the Mustangs came right back in their half of the inning with three runs.
Stefany Kenworthy reached first after being hit by a pitch. Walks to Mary Frazee and Ginny Houser loaded the bases.
One out later, Katelyn Mitchell singled Kenworthy and Frazee home to put the hosts up 2-1.
The Mustangs added another run in the third when Kenworthy doubled to center and scored when Frazee singled.
Kenworthy pitched well and although she would allow an occasional base runner, the Trojans could not get the key hit they needed to add to their score in the middle innings.
“We had a glimpse of good things,” said Sowers about the hitting, “but we couldn’t take advantage of the people we got on base.”
Fountain Central, however, continued to add to their run total as the innings mounted.
“We were aggressive on the bases and it paid off for us,” said Alexander. “We took advantage of our chances.”
That showed in the fourth when Hannah Shoaf and Mitchell walked to put runners on first and second.
After two ensuing strikeouts, Bayli Mitchell hit an infield single, but both runners were aggressive and scored on the hit to make it 5-1.
Covington threatened in the fifth when Aliah Larsen double to lead off the inning, but she was erased on a fielder’s choice when the next batter hit the ball to the Mustang shortstop who flipped the ball to third for an out.
Fountain Central continued to score in both the fifth and sixth innings to go up 9-1. The Trojans finally started to get things going in the top of the seventh, but thanks in part to a little help from the Mustangs.
“I was really proud how we played the first six innings with no errors,” said Alexander. “We made three in the third and they were all mental mistakes. We need to learn how to close out games.”
Larsen led off with a bunt for Covington then, after a pop out, Mallory Ponder moved her to second with a single. Hanson then erased Larsen on a fielders’ choice but then the FC errors came into play, allowing Ponder and Hanson to score to make the outcome 9-3.
“This was a good win for us,” said Alexander. “We’re five and one in the conference.”
The two teams plan to make up the rained out game from Tuesday on Saturday morning at the Trojan Complex.
Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org