Logansport’s Rohrabaugh’s big plays spoils Caston comeback bid
Zimpleman homers for Lady Comets
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
LOGANSPORT — The Logansport softball team brought visiting Caston to Justyce on Monday.
Justyce Rohrabaugh threw the potential go-ahead run out at the plate to end the top of the seventh and then ended the game with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom half to lift the Lady Berries to a 6-5 win.
Caston had trailed 5-0 after five innings, but coach Jon Burks was optimistic that the Lady Comets would adjust to Logansport sophomore pitcher Kinzie Byrd once they got a third look at her.
Addison Zimpleman hit a two-run homer in the sixth in her third time up to cut the lead to 5-2, but Byrd maintained that lead going into the seventh.
Annie Harsh led off the top of the seventh with a bloop single, and Bailey Harness reached on an infield hit. Byrd recovered to strike out Alexa Finke and Makena Middleton.
That brought up No. 9 hitter Macee Hinderlider, who worked a two-strike walk to load the bases.
Maddi Smith then lofted a pop-up just beyond the dirt cutout in shallow right field on the turf field at Logansport.
The second baseman camped under it. Right fielder Chloe Kelly moved in. The ball dropped for an error, scoring Harsh and Harness.
Smith headed for second. Kelly threw to second. Smith appeared to be out, but the shortstop dropped the ball trying to tag Smith, and the ball rolled away. Hinderlider scored to tie the game, and Caston now had the potential go-ahead run in scoring position.
Kinzie Mollenkopf then singled to center for her second hit of the game. Inexplicably, Smith did not run on contact, even though there were two outs.
Smith started running once she saw the ball land in center field. Burks waved Smith home, but Rohrabaugh threw her out at the plate.
“I don’t know what we were even thinking,” Burks said. “It’s what we had said. You know what I’m saying? So evidently it didn’t register. Guess we’ve got to clean that part up. Things happen. That was a mental mistake, and it kind of maybe costing us there because it really would have put the pressure on because she should have scored.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Kendra Sutton led off with a double, and Kylie Byrd’s sacrifice bunt to Mollenkopf in the circle moved Sutton to third. Katie Hall walked, and Kinzie Byrd was intentionally walked to load the bases for Rohrabaugh, who then lofted a fly ball over the outfielders’ head playing shallow in left-center for the game-winning hit.
“Logan, give them applause,” Burks said. “She pitched a real good game. They hit the ball and got their spots and scored the runs they needed. It is what it is.”
The Berries built their lead off Zimpleman, who started but was knocked out with no outs in the third inning.
Kylie Byrd had an RBI triple in the first. The Lady Berries’ three-run second inning included a bunt single, three infield hits, and a two-run flare to right-center from No. 9 hitter Kellyn Cripe. Sutton’s RBI infield single later in the inning made it 4-0.
Katie Hall tripled down the left field line to open the third, and when Kinzie Byrd singled her home, Zimpleman moved to second base, and Mollenkopf took over in the circle.
Mollenkopf allowed a walk, two infield singles and no runs through the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, Kinzie Byrd had 10 strikeouts through five innings, and no Caston player hit the ball out of the infield until Mollenkopf’s leadoff hit in the fourth. Byrd then retired eight consecutive batters after Mollenkopf’s hit before Mollenkopf came up again in the sixth and reached on a two-out error.
That brought up Zimpleman, who launched a two-run homer just to the left of straightaway center.
“Couldn’t catch up to her the first couple innings, but they let her in for a third time, and I knew if they let us see her a third time, they’d catch up to her. And it started showing.”
Logansport 6, Caston 5
Caston 000 002 3 – 5 5 0
Logansport 131 000 1 – 6 13 3
WP – Kinzie Byrd (7 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 K)
LP – Kinzie Mollenkopf (4 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)
2B – Kendra Sutton (LOG)
3B – Kylie Byrd (LOG), Katie Hall (LOG)
HR – Addison Zimpleman (CAS)