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April 22, 2014

H.S. SOFTBALL: Floyd stays red hot with win over Devils

King tosses shutout, gets plenty of offensive support in 10-0 victory

JEFFERSONVILLE — Floyd Central followed up an impressive showing over the weekend with a 10-0 victory at rival Jeffersonville on Monday.

On Saturday, the Highlanders won the eight-team Jasper Invitational by outscoring their opponents, 28-1. They used the same pitching, offense and defense in their 10-run rule victory on Monday.

“I think we’re where we should be right now,” Floyd coach Scott Castleberry said. “I’m very happy with where we’re at.”

“We’ve stepped it up over the weekend and we’re playing as one team now,” Highlander senior Morgan Harper said. “Our confidence level is a lot higher than it was at the beginning. We started out slow, but now we’re building up to where we finished last year.”

After getting 31 hits over the weekend, the Highlanders (7-1) had 12 against Jeff starter Macy Neese in Monday’s victory.

Six of those hits came in a five-run third inning that broke a scoreless tie. With one out, Floyd hit five straight singles. Then with two down, Harper came through with an RBI double for a 5-0 lead.

“Offensively, we’re executing our game,” Castleberry said. “It’s definitely going to be a combination of power and speed. That’s the way this team can score a lot of runs.”

“We started this lineup over the weekend,” Harper said. “I think [Castleberry] wanted to keep it [the same] to see if we could keep the streak going. I guess it’s working.”

First-year Jeff coach Chelsea Jordan acknowledged that the Floyd Central bats gave her team trouble. But she also admitted that her team struggled defensively, particularly with mental mistakes.

“They did find holes,” Jordan said, “but one thing is, we’re really struggling with mental errors. We tell them all the time, ‘You guys have the talent. It’s all here.’ Mentally, how do you keep the positive mentality that you’re the best out there? I can’t get through to them yet that they’re just as good as those other teams.”

After a scoreless fourth, the Highlanders added a pair of runs in the fifth. Taylor Castleberry and Regan Hadley opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After Castleberry went to second on an error, Hadley’s single brought her home for a 6-0 lead. Hadley later scored on one of the Red Devils’ three official errors.

Floyd then pushed the lead to 10 with three runs in the fifth, which included a Taylor Batliner double and a Hadley RBI single.

Five different Highlanders had multiple hits, including Hadley’s 3-for-4 afternoon. Gabbi Jenkins went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, Castleberry was 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, Taylor McClure was 2-for-4 with two runs and one knocked in and Jensen Striegel went 2-for-3 and scored a pair of runs from the nine spot in the order.

“It gives me a lot of confidence,” Floyd Central sophomore pitcher Kassie King said. “When we score runs, it makes me feel better and I can do my best.”

King produced a shutout in her second start of the season. She struck out 10 Red Devils.

“Kassie’s got great travel ball experience,” Scott Castleberry said. “Today we saw a great effort from her. I think she’s capable of this and more.”

“She did really good,” Harper said of King. “Her confidence level was a lot higher than I’ve seen it before. She stepped up her game. She was on fire today.”

King did allow Jeff to scatter seven hits, including a pair of singles by Courtney Shepherd and a double off the top of the left-field fence by Jocelyn Tincher in the first inning.

“We hit the ball better today,” Jordan said. “They made adjustments at the plate better than we had all season. That’s very positive for us.”

The Red Devils fall to 2-8 with the loss.

“It’s not all terrible. It’s not,” Jordan said. “The first three innings, we played phenomenal. That shows that we’re getting there.”

“I’ve got a lot of respect for where Chelsea’s at,” Coach Castleberry said. “I think she’ll do great things here. I’m going to expect them to keep getting better.”

With the Hoosier Hills Conference and the sectional still ahead, neither team used its ace. Technically, the game meant little in terms of the 2014 season.

However, King said, “It makes you feel good when you beat your rivals.”

Floyd will host another HHC team in Madison on Wednesday. That same night, Jordan will face her alma mater, New Albany, for the first time.

“I may need to get directions [to Prosser Field],” she joked.


Floyd Central    005 023—10 12 0

Jeffersonville    000 000—  0   7 3

    W — Kassie King (2-0). L — Macy Neese (0-1). 2B — Morgan Harper (F), Taylor Batliner (F), Jocelyn Tincher (J).

    Records — Floyd Central 7-1, Jeffersonville 2-8.

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