Apr. 8—Kokomo’s softball team celebrated the first game in the Wildkats’ new stadium with a 13-0 victory over Taylor on Wednesday. The game ended after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
The Wildkats made themselves at home in their new digs quickly, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning and seven in the second. Jannessa Reece, Kami Shoemaker and Kennedy Huckeby were each 2 for 3. Reece powered the Kats with two doubles and four runs batted in. Shoemaker had a double and a triple and Huckeby doubled and singled.
Malori Nichols added a triple and Liliana Lamberson a double as Kokomo moved to 1-1 on the season.
“I thought we really came out aggressive at the plate — we batted around in both the first and second innings,” Kokomo coach Mike Susong said. “We were hitting the ball really hard.”
On defense, Kokomo pitchers Bayli Reed, Carly Patterson and Gwen Hand combined on a one-hitter. Reed threw the first two innings with a hit and two strikeouts. Patterson threw the third and fourth with three strikeouts. And Hand threw the fifth with two strikeouts and a walk.
The Wildkats got everyone involved in the opening of their new stadium.
“Man, it is special to see,” Susong said of the new park. “Just walking out to the third base coaching box and looking up and seeing the stands, it was unbelievable, it really was. Great experience for everybody.
“[The players] were very excited. We took a picture after the game to commemorate the first game being played there. Everybody got to play so they can say they got to play in the first game in the new stadium so I thought that was really great for us as a program.”
WESTERN SWEEPS DH
Western swept visiting Tipton in a Hoosier Conference East Division doubleheader. The Panthers beat the Blue Devils 12-1 in five innings in the first game, and beat the Blue Devils 15-3 in the nightcap.
Western (3-1) rocked seven home runs over the two games. Sadie Harding and Kinzie Conaway belted two homers apiece and Maisy Harlow, Emily King and Kieli Fogg also went deep.
Harding finished with six hits over the two games. Harlow and Izzy Johnson had five apiece; both had a double among their hits. Morgan Ousley had four hits, including a double, and Conaway finished with three hits.
Ousley was the winning pitcher in game one. She pitched three innings and struck out four. Harding pitched the final two innings and struck out three. In the second game, Chloe Linn pitched five innings for the win. She struck out eight.
EASTERN 3, M-G 2, 8 INN.
Macy Coan threw all eight innings and ensured victory in her first pitching outing when she came to bat with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and drove in the winning run. On the pitching side, she finished with six hits, no walks, two earned runs and 12 strikeouts.
Eastern (3-0) got a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning from Cassidy Keene for a quick lead but fell behind 2-1 after Madison-Grant scored two runs in the top of the sixth. Emily Belt’s RBI single in the seventh sent the game to an extra inning. Keene also had a single. Dee Ayres, Hope Smith and Allison Delgado each had two singles.
“Macy did a great job on the mound for us,” Eastern coach Steve Bratcher said. “We’ve been getting those big hits, [Wednesday] night we left 12 on base. We fought through this one. Madison-Grant’s a good team, good program and they really tested us. Luckily our girls stepped up.
“Macy’s first start varsity-wise and our girls stepped up — Emily Belt hits the tying RBI in the seventh inning and then Macy Coan with the RBI in the eighth as a sophomore. Really proud of our girls. Really proud of the fight and the battle to come back from 2-1 in the sixth.”
NW 15, CASS 2, 5 INN.
Bailey Henry drove in four runs to highlight Northwestern’s victory over visiting Cass in Hoosier Conference East Division play. Henry finished 3 for 3 with a double.
Also for the Tigers (2-0, 1-0 HC East), Jaci Elson smacked three singles and Ellie Boyer had a double and single. Jamie Graves earned the win. She pitched all five innings.
The teams are scheduled to play again today, at Cass.
NW 10, CASS 0, 5 INN.
Northwestern pitcher Cole Wise turned in a dominant performance in the Tigers’ season opener. Wise pitched 4 2/3 innings, held Cass to one hit, struck out 13 and walked one.
“He was overpowering,” Northwestern coach Ryan Ward said. “It kind of all started with his fastball and blowing away everybody. He has multiple pitches he can throw for strikes, but just kind of setting the tone with high velo fastball and making guys earn it. He was dominant.”
Northwestern scored a single run in the bottom of the first inning, then broke it open with six runs in the second inning.
The Tigers finished with seven hits in the Hoosier Conference East Division game. Isaac Guffey was 2 for 2 with a triple, A.J. Burkhalter was 2 for 3 with a double, Jeremy Bell was 1 for 2 with a triple and two RBI and Austin Robinson was 1 for 2 with a double.
“We were excited about the opportunity to play after not playing last year. I think naturally everyone was a little bit nervous, but our offense kind of came alive after the first inning, in the second and third inning, just because of the confidence that Cole was kind of pumping into everyone,” Ward said.
Northwestern and Cass play again today, at Cass, to complete the home-and-home series.
PERU 14, EASTERN 3, 5 INN.
The Bengal Tigers bashed 14 hits in beating the Comets at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
“Give Peru a lot of credit,” Eastern coach Erik Hisner said. “They tore the cover off the ball. We only walked three and only had one error, so they earned the majority of their 14 runs.”
Jacob Loftus and Logan Gatliff led Peru’s attack with 3-for-3 games. Loftus cracked two doubles, scored two runs and drove in a run and Gatliff had a triple, three RBI and two runs.
Also for Peru (4-0), Cooper Baldwin was 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI and a run and Jackson Rogers was 2 for 3 with a double and a run.
Kade Townsend pitched a complete game to up his record to 2-0. He held the Comets to one earned run, struck out six and walked one.
Eastern’s Levi Mavrick tripled and scored and Cam Arcari doubled. Mavrick took the loss on the mound.
“Even though it wasn’t the result we wanted on the scoreboard … it was another chance for us to compete and gain valuable experience,” Hisner said. “We were also able to play some guys in different positions and get some questions answered moving forward. We’ll be fine. We have a lot of confidence in our guys.”
HARRISON 8, KOKOMO 5
The Wildkats scored four runs in the top of the first inning, but the Raiders fought back for the win. Harrison scored a single run in the first inning, two runs in the second, two runs in the third and three runs in the fourth to take an 8-4 lead.
The Kats out-hit the Raiders 9-8. Jaden Armfield led the Kats with a solo homer. Gavin Huffman had a double and drove in two runs. Caydan Belt and Cooper Hansen had two singles apiece.
Kokomo is part of an eight-team invitational on Friday and Saturday. Kokomo faces Fishers at 6 p.m. Friday at Municipal Stadium, Lafayette Central Catholic at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Muncipal Stadium and South Bend St. Joseph’s at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Highland Park.
ALEX 13, TAYLOR 10
Down 6-0 after two innings, Taylor fought back against 2019 Class 2A state champion Alexandria. The Titans scored five runs in the fourth inning and four runs in the sixth inning to take a 9-8 lead, but Alex responded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to regain control.
Jaylen Harris went 2 for 2 with two RBI to lead the Titans (0-2). Ryley Gilbert was 2 for 4 with an RBI and Michael Pemberton was 2 for 5 with an RBI.
Taylor coach Kris Dill liked how his squad bounced back from a flat performance in its season opener. Peru beat Taylor 12-2 in six innings Tuesday.
“It was a big turnaround after a letdown [Tuesday] night,” Dill said. “Our boys came out ready to play. They were down early, but they kept fighting. I’m always going to be happy when our guys don’t give up.”
“We cut down our walks [allowed]. We only had four walks, and that’s always going to help you,” he added. “We only had three strikeouts at the plate. We hit the ball well, we moved runners, we did all the little things that you need to do to score runs. Offensively, I like where we’re at. Defensively, we got better, and I think we played 15 players so everybody contributed. I feel good about where we’re heading.”
WESTERN SWEEPS DH
Class 3A No. 1-ranked Western opened its season with a doubleheader sweep of visiting Tipton in Hoosier Conference East Division play. The Panthers won 10-0 in the opener and 19-1 in the second game.
WESTERN 5, CASS 0
The Panthers improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Hoosier Conference with the road win.
In singles, Eliza Lutgen was a 6-2, 6-0 winner at No. 1, Chloe Schmidt won 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3) at No. 2 and Macie Lockwood won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3. And in doubles, Emma Moore and Sydney Jansen posted a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 1 and Elizabeth Mercer and Sophia Moreno won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2.