SCHS softball shows strides
The youthful Schuyler Central High School softball team traveled to Crete last Sept. 6 to take on the hosts and Aurora in the Crete Triangular. Even though the Lady Warriors fell to the fourth-ranked Lady Cardinals 11-2, and to the Lady Huskies 12-3, they showed signs of improvement against the Central Conference foes.
Schuyler Central head coach Scott Anderson knew that the team his squad would meet in the opening game was a very talented bunch.
“Crete is a very good softball team. They were Class B state champions last year and are one of the top Class B teams this year,” he said. “They have a couple girls getting looks from Division I colleges for softball with one going to a Big 10 school on scholarship and another very impressive softball athlete that has a scholarship to play Division I basketball.”
Crete came out hitting the ball well right away against SCHS starting pitcher Jaiden Inselman. The Lady Cardinals scored four times in the first inning and five times in the second to build an early 9-0 advantage. Inselman pitched all four innings and allowed eleven hits and nine earned runs but also struck out five Crete batters and didn’t walk anyone.
“We did settle down on defense after the first two innings and did a better job of locating our pitches allowing only two runs in the third inning and shutting them out in the fourth,” Anderson said.
The Lady Warriors scored both of their runs in the third inning and could have had more were it not for a base running error at third with nobody out.
Carly Johnson and Jaiden Inselman led off the third with back to back singles before Jaki Mejia drew a one out walk. Jenna Jedlicka then ripped an RBI single driving in Inselman from third.
Jaiden Sock blasted a laser that tipped off the centerfielder’s glove to drive in Mejia from second base with the second run of the inning. Mia Wallingford then struck out and Bailee Kovar grounded out to end the frame.
“We did some good things,” Anderson said, “but offensively we just don’t match up very well with Crete. Then again, not many teams do.”
Against Aurora, the Lady Warriors drew first blood in the first inning.
Jaiden Sock reached on a leadoff walk then Mejia followed with a hard single. Jedlicka ripped a ball down the third base line that the third baseman made a great play on as she stepped on third for the force out then fired to first to get Jedlicka by a step to complete the double play.
Jaiden Inselman drew a walk putting runners on first and second with two outs. Wallingford rocketed a hard line drive at the short stop that bounced off her glove and sailed into left field driving home Mejia with the run that put the Lady Warriors ahead 1-0 after one inning of play.
Aurora rebounded with three runs in the second and nine runs in the top of the third to build a 12-1 lead off of Inselman who once again pitched all four innings for the Lady Warriors. Inselman tossed a solid game allowing only four Lady Husky base hits while striking out seven and walking only one. The Schuyler Central defense struggled with nine errors allowing 11 unearned Aurora runs to cross the plate.
“This game we really should have had a chance to win it at the end. We cannot have six or seven errors in one inning,” Anderson said. “We are moving some people around a little bit defensively trying to find a combination that gives us the best chance of getting outs. We played good defense most of the night against Aurora but had one really bad inning. We need to clean that up and we will have a chance to win.”
The Lady Warriors pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead to 12-3 but the eight-run rule ended the game in the fourth. Mejia, Jedlicka, and Inselman each had one hit in the contest with Mejia, Jedlicka, and Sock each scoring a run.
“Offensively, the top of our order is getting on base and scoring some runs,” noted Anderson. “The bottom half of the batting order was hitting a little better earlier in the year but has struggled the last several games. We have some girls doing a great job of choosing which pitches to swing at but also a few that still swing at a bad pitch, get frustrated, and watch a pitch in the middle of the strike zone. We keep hitting in the batting cages and trying to help them be more focused on getting their best swing on a pitch in the middle of the plate.”
The Warriors took their 2-10 record to Wayne for the triangular with West Point-Beemer and Wayne this past Monday and will be competing in the York triangular this Thursday against Columbus Lakeview and York.