NORTH VERNON — There were so many fascinating storylines from Floyd Central’s 3-1 victory over Bedford North Lawrence that lifted the Highlanders to the Class 4A Jennings County Sectional title.
Floyd won its 15th sectional crown and its fifth in nine years. It was the first sectional championship for second-year coach Scott Castleberry, who replaced legendary coach Joe Witten, who left the program for IU Southeast after winning four sectionals in his final seven years at Floyd.
“Last year, it was new for everybody,” senior Taylor McClure explained. “This year, we were all comfortable with each other. I think this is big for the coaches, too.”
“This game is about these players,” Castleberry said. “I’m just a guide. FC has a strong tradition, so this is no surprise for me. I gave them the guidance, but they really came together as a team. I’m ecstatic inside for the girls and my coaching staff.”
Floyd also got the opportunity to beat Bedford, which had knocked them out of the tournament a year ago. In fact, the Highlanders credited the Stars with their hunger for a title in 2014.
“Last year, we weren’t as much of a team,” McClure said. “I think we came together because of that game last year.”
“[Beating Bedford makes the championship] more special because they beat us last year,” sophomore pitcher Kassie King added.
The Highlanders got extraordinary pitching from King throughout the tournament. She allowed just one run — a seventh-inning home run by Marissa Watson in Saturday’s championship game — on 10 hits over three complete-game sectional performances.
On Saturday, she struck out seven Stars, including striking out the side in the second. She allowed six hits but stranded seven Bedford baserunners and didn’t issue a single walk.
“She’s been great. She’s been on every game,” her catcher McClure said.