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  • Val T.

Haughs hits 2-run homer, Coleman also has 3 hits, 3 RBIs in Rochester rout of Northfield

Howdeshell sisters combine on 2-hitter as Lady Zs improve to 4-1 in TRC


Sports Editor, RTC

Sydney Haughs

WABASH — Northfield pitcher Emma Warnock struck Rochester’s Emma Howdeshell looking to start their Three Rivers Conference softball game at Northfield’s Guenin Field on May 5.

As if to prove that was not a fluke, Warnock then fanned Aubrey Miller.

Then Rochester struck out only once the rest of the game, and the Lady Zs enjoyed a fiesta on the bases on Cinco de Mayo in recording a 16-1 win in five innings.

Rochester outhit Northfield 18-2 in improving to 4-1 in the TRC. Northfield fell to 0-6.

Sydney Haughs singled, doubled and homered and drove in three runs, and Kylie Coleman had three singles and a sacrifice fly and also had three RBIs. Howdeshell started 0 for 2 but finished with three hits and an RBI.

Miller had two hits and two RBIs, and Maddi Heinzmann had a bloop single and a sacrifice fly and also drove in two runs. Kallie Watson reached base four times with two singles and two walks.

“Our big thing was our first two were trying to attack the ball at the front part of the box,” Rochester coach Jim Coleman said. “We made an adjustment middle to the back side just to wait on the pitch a little bit more. Once we did that, our bats came alive, so it was good to see.”

Rochester scored in each of the four innings in building a 16-0 lead, which allowed reserves Haley Durkes, Bella Howdeshell, Keyton Doran and Lilee Conley to get playing time.

In the circle, Mia Howdeshell allowed one run over four innings for the win. She allowed two hits but walked none and struck out eight. Older sister Emma Howdeshell struck out two in a perfect fifth. They combined to retire 15 of the 17 batters they faced.

“In the second inning, I said something to coach (Scot Howdeshell), I said, ‘She seems like she’s throwing much harder,’ coach Coleman said of Mia Howdeshell. “And ironically, in between innings, Mia came in and said, ‘I feel like I’m just throwing faster today.’ And she looked more relaxed. I don’t know if it was the warm-up or giving her a little bit of time off on Wednesday (a 13-3 win in five innings over Manchester), but she definitely looked more relaxed and in command in that circle.”

After the initial strikeouts from Warnock, Kylie Coleman hustled out an infield single on a grounder to the left side of the diamond.

Haughs then hit a liner to deep center that skidded over the fence for a two-run homer.

“She got us going with two outs,” coach Coleman said. “So that I think just relaxed everybody. We did a much better job attacking the ball there in the second inning, and we got some successful bunts down, which really keyed that big second inning.”

Rochester then added seven more runs in the second. Emma Howdeshell had an RBI groundout to third, Miller singled up the middle to drive in two and make it 5-0, Kylie Coleman had an RBI single, and Haughs had an RBI single. Maddi Heinzmann had an RBI bloop single to make it 8-0, and she later scored when Mylee Heinzmann reached on an error.

“I struggled at the beginning of the season with popping up because of adjusting to slower pitchers, but I’ve adjusted well,” Kylie Coleman said.

Rochester has won three straight games since a 6-4 loss to Tippecanoe Valley on April 24. Madi Smith, who will be Kylie Coleman’s teammate and roommate at Anderson University next year, got the game-winning hit.

“I know personally it hurt me pretty big because my roommate is Madi Smith,” a smiling Kylie Coleman said. “But we have worked hard, and we know coming up in our sectional that we want to beat Winamac since they beat us already this season.”

The Lady Zs scored four more in the third. Kylie Coleman reached on an error that brought home Emma Howdeshell and received credit for an RBI. Miller and Kylie Coleman each scored on wild pitches, and Maddi Heinzmann added a sacrifice fly.

In the fourth, Kylie Coleman’s fly to center brought home a run, and when the presence of Emma Howdeshell moving from second to third was enough to draw an errant throw home, Emma Howdeshell came in to score to make it 15-0. Mia Howdeshell added an RBI walk.

Senior Ella Hunter, the only player on Northfield’s roster who also played in the 2021 state title game win over Clay City, led off the fourth with a double and scored three batters later on Kirsten Rife’s RBI single.

Rochester 16, Northfield 1 (5 innings)

Rochester 274 30 – 16 18 0

Northfield 000 10 – 1 2 4

WP – Mia Howdeshell (4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

LP – Emma Warnock (2 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

2B – Emma Howdeshell (RHS), Sydney Haughs (RHS), Ella Hunter (NF)

HR – Sydney Haughs (RHS)

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