Inclement weather suspends Jasper-Central game

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/THe Herald
Jasper senior Kendyl Ruhe (7) and junior Kaitlynn Mendel (9) react during a weather delay in Thursday evening’s Sectional 16 game against Evansville Central at Evansville North. The game was tied at 0-0 in the middle of the first inning before rain and lightning stopped play.

By JIMMY LAFAKIS
jlafakis@dcherald.com

EVANSVILLE — A palpable buzz pulsated throughout Evansville North’s bleachers as Jasper (23-2) took on Evansville Central in Thursday’s second Sectional 16 semifinal game. The overcast contest presented high stakes, but the game barely got going before a weather delay stopped the action. Sheets of rain disrupted the cadence of play, while lightning presented another threat.

Jasper head coach Matt Pryor said the teams will resume play at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The score will remain tied at 0-0, and Jasper will begin its first at-bats of the game. The winner is scheduled to face Gibson Southern in a 7 p.m. championship game that evening.

“We’ll show up and play a game until the umpire says we can’t play a game,” Pryor said. “Our focus was completely playing seven innings and not worrying about what-ifs.”

Before the delay forced both teams to take shelter inside North’s gymnasium and cafeteria, Jasper senior pitcher Mia Werner established a groove during a blustery top of the first inning. Werner retired the first three Central batters with a series of rapid strikeouts. She achieved success by working ahead in the count and mixing her speeds.

“Mia was feeling good,” Pryor said. “Her ball was moving well. Hopefully, it keeps moving on Saturday.”

The jubilant Cats returned to their dugout, ready to hit for the first time. The Bears dashed out to the field and headed right back into their dugout after the weather delay began. Coaches, players and staff joined forces to roll the tarp from the outfield onto the infield.

The game marked a rematch of an early-season Southern Indiana Athletic Conference contest. The Cats captured a 10-0 run-rule in Jasper on March 30. In that game, Werner tossed five shutout innings and allowed just one hit. Jasper scored six innings in the bottom of the third frame, and junior Kennedy Matheis knocked in a team-high two runs for the Cats.

Jasper’s seniors will graduate Friday evening. The milestone marks a unique middle ground between sectional action.

“For this group of seniors, this is their ride,” Pryor said. “As long as we make good decisions, we will be fine on Saturday.”

The official Jasper Athletics Twitter account confirmed that tickets purchased for Thursday’s game will be honored during Saturday’s contest.




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