I got your ‘Black:’ Senior’s 3-run triple sparks Rochester in win over Lewis Cass
Musselman gets win, Haughs gets save in potential sectional preview
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Rochester senior softball player Carlee Blackburn never remembered hitting a triple in a high school game.
In fact, according to the stats, she hadn’t ever tripled in a Lady Z uniform before.
Her first career triple came at an ideal time Friday.
Blackburn tripled home three runs in the first inning to put Rochester ahead for good, and she also scored a run in the third inning as Rochester hung on to defeat sectional rival Lewis Cass 6-5 at Fansler Field Friday.
Rochester led 6-1 after three innings but had to hang on. After Emma Logan and Cana Jones singled to put runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh, Sydney Haughs got Olivia Packard to ground to Kylie Coleman at shortstop, who threw to Maddie Heinzmann at third for a game-ending force out.
Mya Musselman allowed five runs over five innings for the win. She allowed 10 hits and walked two while striking out two.
Haughs got the final six outs for the save. She benefitted from two catches in center field from Musselman on consecutive batters to start the sixth and a running catch from Chloe Nichols in left field in the seventh.
“She did a great job as a reliever in coming in and taking care of and having Mya’s back,” Lee said of Haughs. “We just make those changes because we’re getting ready to go to the top of the lineup. Nothing against what Mya was doing. She had a great game. I was very impressed with how she pitched. Sydney was just throwing strikes and letting her defense work for her. … I was very impressed with the way she finished the game for us.”
Rochester played without sophomore third baseman Kallie Watson, who suffered a concussion against Logansport on April 14 and hasn’t played since. Watson was hitting .438 when she suffered her injury.
“Hoping next week,” Lee said when asked when Watson might be back. “Early next week is when we’re hoping to get her through that process and get her all healed up. We don’t want to push that limit too far just because with a concussion, you don't want to do anything that’s going to affect that anymore. That’s a serious injury, and we’re trying to take it slow for her.”
The Lady Zs scored all six of their runs with two outs.
Blackburn, a right-handed hitter, told herself to take an outside pitch from Lewis Cass pitcher Madison Dormer to right field, and her liner to deep right sliced away from right fielder Kelsey Roller and rolled to the wall, clearing the bases.
“Well, I saw that it was an outside pitch, and I knew that’s where it was going,” Blackburn said. “But kind of in the moment, it just happened, like muscle memory, I guess. Then after it happened, it was just like a breath of fresh air.”
Rylee Holt’s RBI single in the third cut the lead to 3-1, but Blackburn figured into another big play with two on and two out in the third.
Blackburn hit a fly to right. The right fielder backtracked but appeared to have the ball within reach. It hit her glove and bounced away. Coleman and Haughs scored on the error, and Blackburn reached third.
When Emma Goodman followed with a line single to right, Rochester led 6-1.
Kaylie Williams’ two-out, two-run double in the fourth down the left field line made it 6-3.
Holt homered to straightaway center to lead off the fifth and make it 6-4. Jones’ RBI infield single later in the inning made it 6-5.
Haughs came in to shut the door.
Blackburn has had three different coaches during her high school career: Carla Holland, David Musselman and Lee.
She said Lee provides youthful enthusiasm.
“I think it’s great,” Blackburn said. “It’s really good because like I said, they have a lot of energy, and they have a lot of confidence in us, and because she was playing just one year ago, you know she knows the game, and it’s just really fun.”
Rochester 6, Lewis Cass 5
Lewis Cass 001 220 0 – 5 12 1
Rochester 303 000 X – 6 7 1
WP – Mya Musselman (5 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)
LP – Madison Dormer (4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K)
2B – Kaylie Williams (LC), Mya Musselman (RHS)
3B – Carlee Blackburn (RHS)
HR – Rylee Holt (LC)