Cats roll to victory over Washington

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
Jasper sophomore Hillary Springer (2) runs home to score the first run of Wednesday evening’s contest at Washington. The Wildcats earned a 12-0 victory in five innings.

By JIMMY LAFAKIS
jlafakis@dcherald.com

WASHINGTON — Jasper (8-0) wasted no time during Wednesday evening’s 12-0 run-rule against Washington. In fact, Wildcats sophomore Hillary Springer made an instant impact in the first at-bat of the game. The Cats were off to the races after Springer ripped a sharp double into the deep corner of left field.

That hit kicked off another victory for Jasper junior varsity head coach Paul Nichter, who filled in for head coach Matt Pryor for the second evening in a row.

“I think it kind of set the tone for the day,” Nichter said. “We weren’t going to settle. We were looking for line drives to begin with. We kind of worked on our small ball a little bit throughout the game. It’s nice to work on things like that.”

Springer swiped third base before Jasper junior Megan Matheis knocked her teammate in with a strong single through the left side. Jasper tacked on another run after a Washington error, and the Cats held a 2-0 lead after the top of the first frame. The Hatchets did not scratch in the bottom of the inning.

Piece by piece, Jasper built a sizable lead in the second inning. The Cats gained some quick runs through a collective small-ball approach, but senior Hannah Schwenk announced her presence in a big way in the middle of the frame.

After Jasper loaded the bases with no outs on the board, Schwenk knocked a two-run double into the right-center gap. Her productive at-bat set the stage for a hearty helping of Jasper runs. When the dust settled, the Cats held a 10-0 lead.

Jasper junior Kylie Morton maintained her rhythm in the circle. Calm and composed, Morton displayed a deep arsenal of pitches. Her poise prevailed, and Jasper maintained its 10-run advantage after the first two innings.

“Kylie threw well,” Nichter said. “She trusted her defense. Our defense behind her was great.”

Once again, the Cats loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third. An additional run gave Jasper an 11-0 lead. The Hatchets filled the bags in their half of the frame, but Jasper senior Kendyl Ruhe ended the threat with a putout.

Morton hustled off the mound with some pep in her step. Her three scoreless innings gave Jasper additional momentum before the top of the fourth began. Junior Adrienne Simmers knocked in an insurance run with an efficient slap hit, and the Cats widened the margin to 12-0 before the top of the frame concluded.

Cats freshman Elise Lampert entered the circle in the bottom of the fourth. Lampert buckled down after allowing a runner to reach base. The young pitcher induced a shallow popup to finish her scoreless inning.

“She was Elise,” Nichter said. “She was throwing strikes. It was good to see.”

The Cats’ streak of scoring in consecutive innings ended in the top of the fifth. Washington pitcher Kiara Welsh tossed a scoreless frame for the Hatchets.

Lampert tossed an efficient mix of pitches in the bottom of the fifth. She showed maturity while she painted the black. A final flyout clinched Jasper’s victory.

Jasper returns for a 6 p.m. game on Friday at Southern Indiana Athletic Conference opponent Evansville Reitz.

“They’re a conference foe for us right now,” Nichter said. “It’s going to be a good test, I think, for this team.”




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