E. Howdeshell drives in 5, Coleman adds 4 RBIs as Rochester snaps 3-game skid vs. Culver
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
CULVER — Culver sports fans have likely seen enough of Rochester senior Emma Howdeshell for the year.
She had a game-high 16 points in the Lady Zs’ 35-23 win over Culver in basketball on Nov. 30.
On Friday at Cavalier Field, she showed off her hitting acumen in softball against Culver, going 3 for 3 with a double, a triple and a homer and three RBIs as the Lady Zs cruised to a 19-3 win in five innings.
Howdeshell was also hit by a pitch twice and scored five runs. She is now batting .792 on the season – 19 hits in 24 at-bats – and sports a 2.578 OPS.
Kylie Coleman added two hits and four RBIs for the Lady Zs, who bounced back from a 13-3 loss in six innings to Logansport Wednesday. Maddi Heinzmann had a two-run single in the first inning.
Mia Howdeshell was the lone member of Rochester’s starting lineup to not get a hit, but she contributed in the circle by allowing just four hits and one run over four innings. Sydney Haughs walked Abigayle Zehner and Luci Overmyer to start the fifth, and Emma Howdeshell relieved and got the final three outs.
“Well, our approach was much better than what we had Wednesday, so I thought the girls responded well,” Rochester coach Jim Coleman said. “They came out with a little more energy than what we had Wednesday and even a little bit on Tuesday (a 9-8 loss to Winamac), I thought we came out flat,” Rochester coach Jim Coleman said. “So much better job of being ready and focused tonight.”
Rochester scored four runs in the top of the first. Emma Howdeshell led off with a double off the fence off Culver starter Kayleigh Fritch, and she advanced to third on Aubrey Miller’s sacrifice bunt. Coleman grounded to third, and when the throw to first was wild for an error, Emma Howdeshell scored to make it 1-0.
Haughs was hit by a pitch, and Kallie Watson stroked a double to right-center to score Coleman and move Haughs to third.
Maddi Heinzmann’s two-run single to right-center made it 4-0.
Luci Overmyer drew a two-out walk from Mia Howdeshell in the bottom of the first before Rochester scored six more times off Fritch in the second.
Miller drove home the first run when she beat out a grounder to second base for an infield single.
Coleman then floated a two-run single over shortstop Kaitlyn Kanschat’s head to make it 7-0. Miller moved to second on Coleman’s hit and then stole third on the next pitch, and when the throw to try and get her at third was wild and went into left field for an error, Miller scored to make it 8-0.
Three batters later, Mia Howdeshell reached on an error on a wild throw after a grounder to third, which scored Coleman and Haughs to make it 10-0.
Emma Howdeshell tripled to left center to lead off the third and scored when the throw to try and get her at third was wild for an error.
“This team is loaded with seniors,” Culver first-year coach J.B. Overmyer said. “It’s the little mental mistakes like that can’t happen. We don’t have the pitching for that. It’s kind of what we preach. We have to be solid in the field to back up our pitchers. When they do hit it, we’ve got to make that play.”
Culver got their first baserunner in scoring position in the bottom of the third inning when Maegan Pearl singled and moved to second when Kaylee Hamilton was hit by a pitch, but Mia Howdeshell struck out Overmyer and got Kanschat on a fly to deep center.
Mia Howdeshell drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, Maddi Heinzmann scored on a wild pitch, Emma Howdeshell had an RBI hit by pitch, Coleman flared an RBI single to right field, Haughs ripped an RBI single off the third baseman’s leg, and Haley Durkes drove home a run with a bases loaded walk in the fourth.
Abbi Kisela scored on a wild pitch to break up Mia Howdeshell’s shutout bid in the bottom of the fourth and make it 17-1.
Emma Howdeshell cranked a two-run homer in the top of the fifth. Coleman moved her back to the leadoff spot in the order, flipping her with Miller, who dropped to No. 2.
“I had moved Aubs into the leadoff against Logansport and went right back to Emma today,” coach Coleman said. “We really need Emma at that leadoff spot. With her speed, the spark, she makes things happen. … She’s really squaring the ball up.”
Bella Howdeshell (first base), Keyton Doran (left field), Lilee Conley (right field) and Haley Durkes (catcher) all saw playing time in the final two innings.
Mylee Heinzmann started at second base and singled and walked in her two plate trips. Coach Coleman said she had to leave the Logansport game Wednesday in the fourth inning due to a stomach ulcer but was back at practice Thursday. Mylee Heinzmann and Doran combined to reach base all four times up from the No. 8 spot in the batting order.
Kouts has replaced Washington Township on Culver’s schedule. Game time is 1 p.m. Eastern Saturday at Kouts.
Rochester 19, Culver 3 (5 innings)
Rochester 461 62 – 19 12 0
Culver 000 12 – 3 4 4
WP – Mia Howdeshell (4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K)
LP – Kayleigh Fritch (3 IP, 9 H, 12 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 3 HBP, 0 K)
2B – Emma Howdeshell (RHS), Kallie Watson (RHS)
3B – Emma Howdeshell (RHS)
HR – Emma Howdeshell (RHS)