The Cougar softball team said goodbye to its five seniors in Thursday evening’s Senior Night game which the Cougars won 8-0 over visiting Breckinridge County.
The starting outfield of Corbin Klineline, in left, Megan England, in center, and Alana Mudd, in right, along with the right-side infielders of shortstop Kaylan Shull and third-baseman Ashley Milliner were all celebrated before playing their final home game at Cougar Field.
Freshman pitcher Lauren Decker was perfect through five innings in the circle before giving up a leadoff single to Breck’s Madison Shrewsberry in the sixth inning. That turned out to be the Tigers’ only hit of the game as Decker cruised to the shutout win. She walked no one and struck out four.
Decker and her cousin at first base, Kara Decker, were also the big guns at the plate for the Cougars. Both had two doubles in the game and drove in three runs apiece. The Cougars sent 11 batters to the plate and scored five times in the second inning against Breck starter and loser Brooke Marple.
The Cougars scored the only run they would need in the first inning. With one out, Shull singled into the hole between short and third, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Kara Decker followed by ripping a pitch to the fence in left-center to drive in Shull to make it 1-0.
Decker moved to third on a groundout by Milliner, then later appeared to score on a wild pitch. But after a conversation between the umpires, Decker was ruled out at the plate for the third out on an interference call on Mudd, who was batting at the time. Mudd interfered with the throw from catcher Alysa Coomes to Marple covering the plate.
Grayson County put the game out of reach with five runs in the second inning. Mudd led off the inning with a single, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Klineline. When the throw to first was wild and down the line in right, both runners adavnced to second and third.
Designated player Abbey Gibson followed with a grounder to Breck shortstop Mason Bennett, whose throw home was in time to cut down a sliding Mudd for the first out of the inning, but leaving runners at the corners.
Gibson stole second base before both runners scored on a double to left-center by Lauren Decker to make it 3-0. Maddie Duvall replaced Decker at second and she moved to third when Grace White followed with a single.
England followed with a fly ball to left deep enough to plate Duvall on the sacrifice, making it 4-0. White stole second base, then moved to third on a wild pitch.
Antoher wild pitch brought White home to make it 5-0 before Shull walked. Kara Decker then blasted her second double, driving in Shull all the way from first to make it 6-0.
Mudd walked and Milliner reached base on an error to load the bases, but Marple got out of the inning by getting Klineline to pop up to short.
The Cougars added another run in the fourth inning. England led off with a ringing double to the fence in left field, then advanced to third on a passed ball. With one out, Kara Decker was thrown out after she laid down a bunt, but it was good enough to drive in England with the seventh run.
The final run of the night came in the fifth inning. Mudd led off with her second single of the night and was advanced to second on a sacrifice by Klineline. Gibson grounded back to the pitcher for the second out, but Mudd was able to advance to third on the play. Lauren Decker then brought Mudd home following her second double of the game.
Decker cruised through the first five innings, retiring 15 straight batters. But Shrewsberry led off the sixth with a solid single just inside the third-base line to break up the perfect game. Shelby Blandford followed with a grounder to Shull at short, who forced Shrewsberry at second for the first out of the inning.
Marple followed with a ground out, moving Blandford to second base, but Decker struck out Bailey Caster to end the inning. Decker then worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning to nail down the win.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 19-11 on the season as they head into next week’s 12th District Tournament at Edmonson County. The Cougars will face Butler County (16-16-1) in a first-round match-up at 7:15 p.m.