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Playin' catch-up

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Connersville senior Katie Steele moves in to make a catch against Shelbyville on Tuesday afternoon. Steele finished with two of CHS' eight hits against the Lady Golden Bears. Shelbyville won the game, 12-2.
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Connersville catcher Paige Dunaway sets up for a pitch, Tuesday on the CHS softball field.Dunaway and the Lady Spartansplayed host to Shelbyville in a non-conference contest.
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Connersville centerfielder Jeri Ellis draws a bead on a fly ball on the CHS softball field, Tuesday against Shelbyville. Ellis and the Lady Spartans wound up falling to the visiting Lady Golden Bears, 12-2.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

While opportunities to score runs might be plentiful against some teams, against truly talented schools, that's just not the case.

On Tuesday night, the Connersville High School softball team hosted a very good Shelbyville squad, and going against the above-stated notion, the Lady Spartans had several opportunities to put runs on the board.

They just could not get them all the way around the diamond.

CHS put 15 runners on the bases throughout the game, but managed to plate only two of them, falling by a 12-2 final.

"We just left too many people on base," Connersville head coach David Ellis said of the dozen Spartan runners who could see home plate, but were unable to circle the bases and get there. "We just could not seem to get those timely hits, and bring anybody home."

Almost before fans could get comfortable in their seats, CHS was trailing 5-0, three Shelbyville singles and a home run by Kylie McIver staking the visitors to a quick lead.

"The wind played a factor on one of the fly balls in the first inning and we weren't able to get that one," Ellis said. "That really got things rolling for them. From there, they just hit the ball really well."

In the bottom of the inning, Connersville got its turn. Doubles by Ashley Ruble and Allison Woytik plated the former with the team's first run, and a walk to Jeri Ellis put two aboard with only one out.

"I thought we were going to come back there in the bottom of the first," coach Ellis said. "We got runners aboard and scored a run, but I really thought we might get three or four and maybe even tie the score. Things just didn't fall our way when we needed them to, however."

A line drive by Madison Fields, right at Shelbyville centerfielder Kaylee Kingston, wound up being the second out, and a pop-up by Hannah Sizemore ended CHS' chance.

With the score still 5-1, Connersville would threaten again in the bottom of the third, scoring its second run of the game, while putting two more on the basepaths, again with only one out.

Both would wind up stranded there, another line drive into left field ending the inning.

"That's just the way the game goes sometimes," the CHS coach said afterward. "I always talk to our girls about being strong on defense and with our pitching, but a game like this one proves how important timely hitting is, as well.

"We had so many opportunities with runners aboard, hitting at least four line drives that went right at someone. If those hits are in the gaps, rather than right at the outfielder, it's a different ballgame."

Shelbyville added three runs in the fourth and provided more than enough distance on the scoreboard with three more in the fifth. In the fifth, Katie Mathies chased home two runners ahead of her with a home run to centerfield.

The Spartans finished with eight hits in the game, but defensive positioning by the Lady Golden Bears prevented their hosts from finishing with a dozen or more.

Both Woytik and Katie Steele finished with two hits each for Connersville.

SHS wound up with double that, collecting 16 hits in the game. Karissa Hamilton and Mathies both finished with three.

On the mound, Jeri Ellis suffered the loss for CHS.

Focus for the Spartans turned toward conference, following Tuesday's loss.

"When we start any season, we start with a priority to win the conference," coach Ellis said. "We're 3-1 in the conference right now, and we've got Lawrenceburg coming in for two games this weekend.

"We really need to take care of these conference games, if we're going to achieve what we set out to do."

First pitch for Game 1 of the doubleheader is set for 11 a.m.

 

LADY GOLDEN BEARS 12, LADY SPARTANS 2

(at Connersville High School)

Shelbyville`500`330`1`—`12`16`3

Connersville`101`000`0`—`2`8`3

WP: Morgan Steineker

LP: Jeri Ellis

Shelbyville (6-4) — Karissa Hamilton 3-5, Morgan Steineker 2-4, Addisen Weaver 1-4, Katie Mathies 3-5, Kaylee Kingston 2-3, Isabella Lewis 1-1, Kylie McIver 3-4, Erica Henry 0-0, Madison Campton 1-3, Regan Graff 0-1, Jo'el Gilbert 0-2, Kyra Rollo 0-1, Kaylie Phelps 0-3, Samantha Carter 0-0, Megan Wisker 0-0, Paige Parsons 0-0, Caitlyn Richardson 0-0. TOTALS 16-36 (.444).

Connersville (6-5) — Ashley Ruble 1-4, Paige Dunaway 0-4, Allison Woytik 2-4, Jeri Ellis 1-2, Madison Fields 1-3, Hannah Sizemore 0-4, Tori Hanson 0-4, Katie Steele 2-4, Hailey Elliott 1-2. TOTALS 8-31 (.258).

Home run — Shelbyville 2 (Mathies, McIver). 2B — Shelbyville 1 (Hamilton), Connersville 2 (Ruble, Woytik). RBI — Shelbyville 8 (Mathies 4, McIver 2, Weaver, Kingston). Runs — Shelbyville 12 (Hamilton 3, Mathies 3, Weaver 2, Kingston 2, McIver, Carter), Connersville 2 (Ruble, Woytik). Stolen base — Shelbyville 5 (Kingston 3, Mathies 2), Connersville 1 (Woytik). Sacrifice — Shelbyville 1 (Steineker). Sacrifice fly — Shelbyville 1 (Weaver). Hit by pitch — Shelbyville 2 (Kingston, Gilbert). Base on balls — Connersville 4 (Ellis 2, Fields, Elliott). Strikeouts — Shelbyville 5 (Kingston, Campton, Graff, Gilbert, Phelps), Connersville 2 (Sizemore, Steele). Errors — Shelbyville 3 (Weaver, Wisker, Rollo), Connersville 3 (Hanson, Steele, Woytik). Left on base — Shelbyville 6, Connersville 12.