After picking up two big wins earlier in the week, the Cougar softball team laid an egg Thursday evening as they lost at Muhlenberg County by the mercy rule, 12-2 in six innings.
The Cougars (6-6) had taken an important 12th District win on Tuesday, beating Butler County 9-6 at the Cougar softball field, then on Wednesday, they defeated Meade County for the first time since 2008, 4-3 in Brandenburg.
That left the team feeling good about themselves as they traveled to Greenville to take on the Mustangs (10-2). But after staying close for four innings, Grayson County gave up seven runs, five of them unearned, in the fifth inning and could not recover.
Mustang pitcher, Jacey Lindsey, kept the Cougars baffled at the plate the whole game. Lindsey allowed just four hits in six innings and two earned runs. Only Allie Horton’s triple in the second inning, and Bailey Sedam’s fifth-inning single were solidly hit. Just about everything else was dribblers on the ground or pop-ups in the infield.
Junior right-hander Lauren Decker took the loss for Grayson County. She gave up 14 hits on the day, but five Cougar errors led to six unearned runs. Decker struck out six and walked just one.
The Mustangs jumped on top with an unearned run in the first inning. With one out, third-baseman Madison Simms singled up the middle. Catcher Macey Hale followed with a sinking liner to right, which fell in for a hit, one of four for Hale in the game. When Cougar right-fielder Bailey Sedam allowed the ball to get past her, it rolled all the way to the fence allowing Simms to score to make it 1-0. Decker then retired Courtney Gossett and Alli Barber to end the inning.
The Cougars tied it 1-1 with a single run in the second inning. Decker led off the inning with a bouncer that found the hole up the middle for a single. She moved to second on a ground-out by Taylor Mudd, then scored on Horton’s triple into the gap in left-center field. Lindsey got out of the inning by retiring Embry Thorpe on a grounder, then striking out Sedam.
Muhlenberg County took the lead for good with a run in the third inning. With one out, three consecutive singles by Simms, Hale and Gossett produced a run and left runners at second and third. But Decker was able to pitch out of the jam by striking out Barber and inducing Alyssa Brewer to ground out.
The Mustangs sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth inning and scored seven times to put the game out of reach. Simms walked leading off, bringing up Hale. After getting behind 0-2 in the county, Hale sent a low liner over the fence in straight-away center field for a two-run home run to make it 4-1.
The Cougars committed a pair of errors in the inning to go along with three Mustang hits to produce five more unearned runs. Lauren Walker drove in two runs with a single and Holly Porter drove in two more with a triple. Brooklyn Hall drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly.
Lindsey retired 10 straight batters before Sedam singled to right with two outs in the fifth inning. But Lindsey retired Haley Tucker on a ground ball to end that inning.
The Cougars added a run in the sixth inning. Bailey Snyder walked leading off and moved to second on a single up the middle by first-baseman Kara Decker. Madeline Carter sacrificed the runners to second and third before Lauren Decker drove in Snyder with a hard shot at third base. When the ball skipped past Simms at third, the Cougars had runners at second and third with just one out.
But Lindsey buckled down, getting Mudd on a come-backer, then getting Horton on an infield pop-up.
The Mustangs ended things in the sixth by scoring three times to bring it to a 10-run lead and invoking the mercy rule. Hale’s fourth hit of the game, a single leading off the inning, was followed by a one-out single by Barber and a double by Brewer to plate the first run.
Lindsey grounded out to Thorpe at third, but Barber scored on the play to make it 11-2. Walker then singled to right to plate Brewer, thus ending the game.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.