Cats triumph against Barr-ReeveApril 7, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
MONTGOMERY — Less than 24 hours removed from earning a 1-0 victory over Heritage Hills on Tuesday, Jasper (5-0) needed just two batters to plate its first run against Barr-Reeve on Wednesday evening. The Wildcats seized the early momentum and captured an 8-3 victory over the Vikings.
“Tonight, they were ready to play,” Jasper head coach Matt Pryor said. “When we got here, we were late. We got off the bus. We hardly stretched. We hardly threw. We took a couple of swings, we played ball and we played great. It was, ‘Let’s show up and play some softball.’”
Jasper sophomore Hillary Springer started the Cats’ hit parade with a sharp single to right field. Springer got on her horse and reached third base after a Barr-Reeve error. Senior Mia Werner followed with a hard RBI single up the box, and Jasper earned the early 1-0 advantage.
The Cats stifled the Vikings in the first two innings. Senior Hannah Schwenk gave Jasper a major boost with a two-run single into right field in the top of the third inning.
Barr-Reeve senior Hannah Graber sent a solo home run sailing over the outfield wall in the bottom of the third frame, but Jasper’s defense regrouped and limited the damage. The Cats did not commit an error in the contest.
Each team tacked on a run apiece in the fifth inning. Jasper junior Megan Matheis pushed the score to 4-1 with a deep opposite-field homer.
After Barr-Reeve scored its run in the bottom of the fifth, the Cats exploded for four runs in the top of the sixth. The heart of Jasper’s order set the stage for Schwenk to smash a deep two-run shot into center field. As she rounded third base, Schwenk could not wipe the ear-to-ear grin off her face.
“We always talk about having as many tools in our toolbox as we can have,” Pryor said. “When we can change around the lineup because we have a different pitcher, it’s nice to be able to have those options. We just want as many weapons as we can. Tonight, we pulled out a different set of weapons. It worked.”
Jasper finished the game with 15 hits. Those knocks provided plenty of run support for junior Kylie Morton, who put together a solid performance on the mound. Morton struck out three Barr-Reeve batters and walked just two.
“She had really good control,” Pryor said. “She’s not a power pitcher. She’s not going to blow it by you, but she’s got good spin. As a batter, when you see a fastball and a drop curve that’s going in the same spot but with a different spin, it makes you question that ball a little bit. She’s able to spin the ball a lot of different ways, and that kept those batters off-balance.”
Jasper returns for a 6:30 p.m. game Thursday evening against county rival Northeast Dubois in Jasper.
“It’s nice when we have our county games,” Pryor said. “It’s a tight county, I think. From Ferdinand, Southridge, Dubois and all of us, I think it’s just a really tight community in the county. It brings in the fans. A lot of families know each other. A lot of people know each other, so it’s a good, competitive game. It’s nice because you see a lot of familiar faces.”
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