Caston hits 7 homers, Zimpleman pitches 2-hitter in rout of Northfield
Hinderlider, Scales have 2 homers, 5 RBIs each
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FULTON — Macee Hinderlider hit two of the Caston softball team’s seven home runs and also tripled as part of a five-RBI performance, and Isabel Scales also crushed a pair of homers and drove in five runs as the host Caston softball team drubbed sectional rival Northfield 19-0 in five innings on April 20.
Addison Zimpleman went 3 for 3 at the plate and also pitched a two-hitter in the circle, and Kinzie Mollenkopf and Kylee Logan each had two hits, including a homer.
Bailey Harness went 2 for 2 with a single and a double. Annie Harsh had a double, and Haley Logan, Makena Middleton and Olivia Alexander each had a single.
“The last week or two, we’re starting to come around,” Caston coach Jon Burks said. “We’re starting to get that ball rolling. So we’ve been working really hard on it, and everybody’s starting to get a little more aggressive at the plate. Not letting them get in a hole. I think that’s where we were faulting ourselves a little bit. We were hitting their pitches, and we were not hitting our pitches. We’ve been working on that. The last couple games, and I’m not going to get all uppity up about it, but it’s improving. We’ve just got to improve a little more.”
Zimpleman walked none and struck out 10 of the 19 batters she faced.
The Lady Comets hit three homers as part of a seven-run first off Northfield starter Layne Fields. After Zimpleman scored on a throwing error on the catcher, Mollenkopf hit a solo homer, and Scales hit a two-run shot to make it 4-0.
Harness scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0. Hinderlider appeared to hit a three-run homer to right-center, but when one of the baserunners ahead of her was determined not to have touched home plate on her trip around the bases, it was reduced to a two-run homer and the score was 7-0.
Caston added eight more runs in the second. Harsh had an RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch. Middleton added an RBI single, and Hinderlider sped around the bases for an inside-the-park two-run homer to make it 12-0. Zimpleman’s solo homer made it 13-0. Scales later singled home two more to make it 15-0.
“We’re more dialed in hitting and working on specific things,” Scales said. “Like, we struggled a little with the outside (pitches). And in practice, we had two tees and we were purposely just working on the outside. I think confidence too. We’ve got a couple games underneath our belt, and just confidence makes a huge difference too.”
Hinderlider’s two-run triple in the third made it 17-0.
Kylee Logan and Scales crushed back-to-back homers in the fourth to complete the scoring.
“I knew there was going to be some hit today,” Burks said of the wind and its effect on the homers. “A routine fly ball was going out, but we didn’t get anything blown out. They actually hit it, and it went out. Hats off to the cage, and my arm’s about ready to fall off throwing (batting practice) to these girls.”
Zimpleman struck out seven of the first eight batters she faced before getting out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the third.
Caston improved to 5-2 with losses coming to sectional rival North Miami and Class 4A Kokomo. Having said that, the team’s record is not top-of-mind for either Burks or the players. The team desires its first sectional title in school history, and they are focused on using the regular season to get them prepared for the postseason.
“I don’t even like to get on Twitter and see what our rankings are,” Scales said. “I don’t care. I mean, I’m a sore loser. I hate losing, so I really always want us to win. But we’ve seen it with basketball the last couple years. We’ve had great season records, and then we fall in sectionals. I just want that sectional so bad.
“This is going to sound bad, but I don’t care about our regular season as long as we’re learning and preparing for that final tournament. That’s all I care about.”
Burks also noted that one of the loudest ovations from the dugout came when Aver Baldwin made a running catch in right field.
Burks called Baldwin’s catch “heartwarming.”
“Unbelievable,” Burks said. “The freshmen, other than Myli (Rude), the other freshmen that are here, the way they actually trusted me … they’ve made a 360-degree turn in how they’ve been playing.”
Caston 19, Northfield 0 (5 innings)
Northfield 000 00 – 0 2 3
Caston 782 2X – 19 19 2
WP – Addison Zimpleman (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)
LP – Layne Fields (2 IP, 12 H, 15 R, 13 ER, 4 BB, 1 K)
2B – Emma Shrock (NF), Bailey Harness (CAS), Kinzie Mollenkopf (CAS), Annie Harsh (CAS), Addison Zimpleman (CAS)
3B – Macee Hinderlider (CAS)
HR – Macee Hinderlider 2 (CAS), Isabel Scales 2 (CAS), Kinzie Mollenkopf (CAS), Addison Zimpleman (CAS), Kylee Logan (CAS)