Lady Comets bombard Valley with 7 HRs, win 15-1
Zimpleman, Scales go deep twice; Mollenkopf homers, pitches 3 ⅔ scoreless innings for win
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
AKRON — Caston leadoff hitter Addison Zimpleman pummeled the first pitch of the game against host Tippecanoe Valley for a home run on April 27.
She hit the first pitch of her second at-bat out too.
The Lady Comet softball team can be that way. They are as subtle as a bag of hammers and about as deadly.
Caston went on to win 15-1 in five innings, compiling more homers (seven) than Valley had hits (five).
Isabel Scales also hit two homers and drove in five runs, and Kinzie Mollenkopf, Kylee Logan and Macee Hinderlider also went deep. Zimpleman finished 3 for 3 with three RBIs and four runs scored, and Hinderlider also doubled as part of a four-RBI game.
Bailey Harness also had two hits, and Haley Logan had a hit and an RBI. Annie Harsh added a single and two walks.
Kinzie Mollenkopf and Zimpleman combined for 11 strikeouts in the circle.
“At this point, we have nothing to lose,” Zimpleman said. “And we’re preparing for sectionals. We want to win sectionals this year and get over that hump, so we’re doing anything and everything in practice that can transpire in a game just to succeed in the end.”
Valley’s only run came on Madi Smith’s RBI groundout to the pitcher in the bottom of the fifth. Corinna Stiles and Dalynne Bussard combined to go 3 for 6 out of the top two spots in Valley’s lineup, but the rest of the team went 2 for 15.
This marked the second straight year that the Class 1A Lady Comets have beaten the Class 3A Lady Vikings by 10-run rule. They also won 13-3 in five innings in Fulton in 2022.
Caston coach Jon Burks called Zimpleman a “table setter” afterwards.
“With the launch angle, that’s where you want to have your bat coming through and striking the ball at that angle, so then you get the launch out of it,” Caston coach Jon Burks said. “If you dip your head or your hands are too close to your body, you’re not going to get that. In practice, we’ve really been focused on getting squared up to the ball.”
With Caston already leading 1-0, Harsh walked to lead off the second. Harness’ bunt single put runners on first and second. Haley Logan’s RBI single made it 2-0 and moved Harness to third. Harness was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch, but Haley Logan moved to second on the play. Hinderlider’s RBI double inside the left field line brought home Haley Logan and made it 3-0.
Zimpleman’s second homer in as many innings made it 5-0. After Scales grounded out, Mollenkopf and Kylee Logan hit back-to-back homers to make it 7-0.
Zimpleman said she was not trying to hit the first pitch out. She said she was just trying to get a hit.
“I feel like my timing has been much better lately because we’ve been seeing much better pitching,” Zimpleman said. “Tippy Valley tonight had a great pitching squad; however, we just hit the ball flat-out. A couple weekends ago, we played down in Kokomo, and I think that just has helped us tremendously and continues to allow our team to incline and succeed.”
Hinderlider lined an opposite-field three-run blast, and Scales hit a two-run homer on an 0-2 pitch in the third to increase the lead to 12.
Scales hit a three-run blast in the fifth on a 1-2 pitch to make it 15-0.
“It’s just so refreshing to see the middle of our order starting to do some production,” Burks said. “Not relying on two, three, four people. Now everybody’s getting in the mix of things.”
Valley’s Mackaylie Costello took the loss in the circle, allowing seven hits and six runs in 1 ⅔ innings. She walked one and struck out one. Abby Bowers allowed four hits and four runs in ⅔ of an inning. Bussard pitched the final 2 ⅔ innings and yielded four hits and five runs (four earned) while walking two and fanning two.
Caston went on to win their first sectional, regional and semistate titles in school history. Valley went on to win their first sectional title since 1992.
Caston 15, Valley 1 (5 innings)
Caston 165 03 – 15 16 1
Valley 000 01 – 1 5 2
WP – Kinzie Mollenkopf (3 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)
LP – Mackaylie Costello (1 ⅔ IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
2B – Addison Zimpleman (CAS), Macee Hinderlider (CAS)
HR – Addison Zimpleman 2 (CAS), Isabel Scales 2 (CAS), Kinzie Mollenkopf (CAS), Kylee Logan (CAS), Macee Hinderlider (CAS)