JEFFERSONVILLE — Hitting the ball hard and right at the defense eventually paid off for Jeffersonville on Tuesday as an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth inning made the difference to help the Red Devils advance to the Hoosier Hills Conference softball championship with a 3-2 victory over the Seymour Owls on Wednesday.
Jeff will travel to Jennings County on Friday with the HHC crown on the line.
With the game tied, Courtney Shepherd led off the Red Devil half of the sixth with a single to center. After Tori Flaten hit into a force play, Marley Edwards reached on an error by second baseman Devon Joray.
With runners at the corners, Gemma Challies took the mound in relief of Abby Morrow. Edwards then stole second uncontested as the Owls attempted to pick off Flaten at third. Emily Coons then hit a hard grounder to second which Joray was unable to handle — allowing Flaten to score easily from third. After Tifany Sheets then lined out to end the inning, Seymour then went down 1-2- 3 in the seventh to seal Jeff’s victory.
Kayleigh Thomas picked up the win on the mound as she scattered 11 hits, none fo r extra bases, walked none and struck out two. Jeff (13-7) only managed five hits, but three were for extra bases. Seymour committed four errors and stranded 10 base runners.
“Sometimes you would rather be lucky as well as good,” said Jeff coach Jodi Bradley. “Tonight we hit the ball hard and put it in play and that makes things happen. Our pitching and defense is what I have the most confidence in. In the two years that I’ve been here, our defense has been our strong point with pitching a close second. Our defense keeps us in the game.”
Jeff got on the board early as Coons led off the first with a single, advancing on a sacrifice by Sheets. Emily Gray then drew a walk before Thomas flied out. Coons scored as Janel Nelson reached on an error by Emily Bobb at short.
Seymour took the lead in the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Morrow and Baylee Robinson, scoring Bobb who had singled and Joray who had reached on an error. Jeff dodged a bullet earlier in the inning when Challies cleared the fence with a shot down the line in left, which hooked foul at the last second.
There was no doubt as to Jeff’s other run, which came the courtesy of Gray, who launched a two-out bomb to dead center field in the fifth to tie the game at 2-2. The Red Devils other extra base hits were a two-out double by Demetria Towns in the second and a two-out double by Thomas in the third.
Jeff stranded seven baserunners.