Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 9:37 pm
ROSSVILLE – The Rossville Hornets upset the Clinton Central Bulldogs by a score of 8-5 during Tuesday’s conference softball game.
Rossville head coach Amanda Szabela, who’s in her fourth season coaching the Hornets, called it a “signature win.”
“We’ve never beat this team since I’ve been here, we’ve gotten 10-run ruled by them I think every year,” she said. “This was a really big deal for us.”
The Hornets took advantage of the Bulldogs’ ace pitcher, senior Caitlyn Bradley, battling through five innings with an injured ankle. Bradley injured her ankle when she collided with a Frankfort player during Saturday’s Clinton Prairie Softball Classic.
Rossville scored seven runs off seven hits during the first five innings of play. Leading the way for the Hornets’ offensive attack was freshman Maggie Deboy.
Deboy had two inside-the-park home runs in the game. The first was in the third inning and drove in two runs to give the Hornets a 5-4 lead. The second was a solo shot in the fifth inning, which extended the Hornet lead to 7-4.
“I just try to see the ball and hit the ball, and just do the best I can every time I’m up,” she said. “And just try to help out my team any way I can.”
Szabela said Deboy has been very consistent at bat so far this season.
“Maggie has been hitting the ball really well lately,” she said. “She’s been seeing the ball and she’s been putting the ball in play.”
“She’s one of those kiddos that it’s amazing to watch her hit because it seems so flawless and it seems so easy,” she added.
Along with Deboy, Szabela noted several other players who stepped up their game in the team’s win.
“Defensively, I think we had some kids that had a really good game,” she said. “Scotlynn Mathews, our senior, I thought she played really well at second base tonight. Cassidy Underwood at center field played really well out there tonight.”
“Alexis Longenecker, this is only her third game back from a sprained ankle, and I thought she stepped up and played good at first base,” she added, also noting the solid play of Allison Hunter and Dorinda EwellLindley in the outfield.
Clinton Central head coach Ed Cripe said his team’s slow start combined with Rossville’s strong hitting resulted in the loss.
“We really came out flat,” he said. “Our bats weren’t working like they normally were.”
He also noted that his team has been battling through injures. Along with Bradley’s ankle injury, he also has a player fighting through a hamstring injury and one player out with a broken foot.
After Tuesday’s game, both teams stand at 1-1 in the Hoosier Heartland Conference. The win moved Rossville to 3-5 overall on the season while Clinton Central dropped to 7-3.
For the Hornets, this season has been a huge improvement from last year when they finished the season with one win.
“The mantra for us this year has been one day at a time,” Szabela said. “We’re going to be better tomorrow than we were today, and we’re going to be better today than we were yesterday.”
“We’ve been competing against bigger, better schools,” she added. “For my kiddos it’s not so much about the losses, but it’s about getting better and doing what we can do and working on those little things and stringing it together.”