Raiders celebrate senior night against TecumsehMay 13, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
HUNTINGBURG — Thursday evening’s Pocket Athletic Conference contest between Southridge (7-11, 1-7) and Tecumseh stirred heaps of emotion on both sides. The Raiders hosted their senior night and also honored the Braves’ senior group. Southridge recognized seniors Briley King, Kennedy Nalley and Maddie Songer after their 13-2 loss to the Braves in five innings.
“I’ve actually been around them since they were little,” Raiders head coach Jason Songer said. “All three are the best of friends. They’re just hard workers. They’ve been leading by example this year. All three of them lead us in every offensive category, and they’ve been more vocal. They’ve been leaders. We’re going to miss them. They’re just a good group of girls.”
The PAC presents some stiff competition, but Southridge’s display of sportsmanship was a definitive sign of the mutual respect between the teams.
“We think it’s important to recognize the other girls,” Jason said. “We’ve been to a couple of places this year that have recognized our seniors when they’ve had senior night. All of these girls have to work hard. To be on the team, you have to put in the work. It’s just good to recognize them.”
The Raiders enjoyed some early excitement. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Southridge junior Mikah Goeppner ripped the first pitch of her first at-bat over the center-field fence. The strong solo shot trimmed Tecumseh’s lead in half.
“I told her, ‘Just get up there,’ ” Jason said. “Us coaches teach our pitchers the same thing — throw first-pitch strikes. When you see that first pitch, just start being aggressive. She was tonight.”
Goeppner added a deep double in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Raiders notched five total hits, and she led the squad with a 2-for-2 performance and a game-high six total bases.
“I definitely do think it will help me,” Goeppner said about her home run. “It was a big confidence boost. I’ve been in a little bit of a slump these past few games, so it definitely boosted my confidence.”
Southridge dealt with Tecumseh’s high-octane offense. The Braves put up at least one crooked number in each inning.
“I told the girls, ‘They’re going to come in and hit the ball,’ ” Jason said. “We don’t have an overpowering pitcher. We have outcome pitchers. We had to play good defense. I thought we played good defense, but they hit the ball better. They’re just a really solid offensive team and a solid defensive team.”
Southridge sophomore Claire Lanman, junior Emma Marley and Nalley registered a hit apiece for the Raiders.
“I didn’t think we necessarily did anything wrong,” Jason said. “I think we made contact against a pretty good pitcher tonight. Some balls just didn’t fall. To beat Tecumseh, you’ve just got to hit with them. We just weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Southridge returns to play tonight at PAC foe Princeton.
“I told the girls at the beginning of the season, ‘We’ve got to play every game like it’s a Tecumseh, a Gibson Southern or a Jasper,’ ”Jason said. “We’re just going to go and give our best effort. Hopefully, we will come out on top.”
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