Invitational allows opportunity for Wildcat rebound

By JOHN PATISHNOCK
Herald Sports Writer

JASPER — At this point, Matt Pryor knows what to expect.

The Jasper softball coach acknowledges his team doesn’t always plays exceptionally great, but the Wildcats are consistently playing well.

Jasper salvaged a win in its weekend invitational Saturday, blasting North Harrison 12-3 after plating seven runs in the first two innings.

“Today, we stayed consistent and hit the ball a little bit better today,” Pryor said.

“They got the pitcher’s sequence early and were able to make adjustments in the box early, and the earlier you can make those adjustments and settle in, the better off you’re going to be.”

Jasper (7-5) batted around in the second frame, when Jessie Gudorf and Nicolette Eckert registered run-scoring doubles, Samantha Gerber added an RBI triple and the Cats scored on an error.

Gudorf finished 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs — she added an RBI single in the fourth — the result of a more aggressive approach, Pryor said.

It’s typical for Gudorf to be particularly hard on herself, he said, but a preseason discussion led to her thinking about what could be instead of potential pitfalls.

“Me and coach had a conversation at the beginning of the year about just relaxing and having positive thoughts at the plate and not worrying about striking out,” Gudorf said, “(just) keeping your nose on the ball and hit it and good things can happen like they’ve been happening.”

“Jessie’s been great, her attitude has been phenomenal,” Pryor added. “The idea was just to free her mind of that negativity and she’s done that. Since then, she’s been hitting the ball really well.”

Emily Beckman and Paige Werner drove in runs in the first inning for Jasper, which recorded four more runs in the sixth: Lindsay Baker notched an RBI single, Gerber drove in two runs with a double and Werner added a sacrifice fly.

Keegan Katter (6-5) pitched a complete game, allowing six hits while striking out two and inducing seven popups. Gudorf, the catcher, noted Katter’s succeeded with her changeup a pitch she used to end the first inning with a strikeout and strand runners on second and third.

A leadoff triple in the first led to an early 1-0 lead for North Harrison (3-6), which later added scores on solo homers from Brittany Rudolph and Kenedy House.

For the entire weekend, Jasper played without starting centerfielder Michala Flamion, who sprained her ankle in Thursday’s loss to Washington. Pryor said she’ll miss at least a couple of weeks.

On Friday night, Jasper dropped a pair of games by a combined four runs: The Wildcats lost to Castle 7-5 and fell to Carmel 6-4. Jasper led Castle in the sixth inning and plated three in the fifth against Carmel, indicating to Pryor his team’s continuing to play at a level that allows the Cats to always be competitive.

Both Gudorf and Baker noted the importance of winning Saturday became elevated after dropping the team’s conference opener to the Hatchets on Thursday.

The Wildcats bounced back this weekend, they surmised. And not just against a bunch of pushovers.

“We stayed at a constant level of intensity for most of the game,” Baker said. “We came back and stayed up with these really good teams this weekend.”

Contact John Patishnock at jpatishnock@dcherald.com.




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