No. 7 Lapel falls 2-1 to No. 14 Eastern Hancock

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Brady Extin | The Times-Post

LAPEL — It might have been a midseason game, but it had the feel of a postseason battle.

A pair of Class 2A ranked teams, tension between the two, and a lively atmosphere at the Lapel softball field made Friday night feel like a sectional matchup.

And the play on the field lived up to that atmosphere.

At home, No. 7 Lapel fell 2-1 to No. 14 Eastern Hancock.

The win was Eastern Hancock’s 15th straight after an opening game loss to Class 4A Brownsburg, and the loss was only Lapel’s second to a 2A school along with an 8-7 loss to Frankton that they later avenged in the Madison County Tournament.

Friday night was a pitchers duel in the circle between Lapel’s Karlie Jannings and Eastern Hancock’s Kenna Stewart.

Jannings threw six innings, allowed eight hits, two runs, and struck out five. Only one of the runs allowed was earned.

The Royals did all of their damage in the third inning. Camyrn Blue singled to lead things off and later advanced to third on a Sammie Bolding single before scoring on a Lapel throwing error trying to catch Bolding stealing second. After advancing from first to third on the error, Bolding stole home to add to the Royals lead.

Jannings stranded runners on the corners in the second inning, in the fifth forced a flyout to centerfield to leave runners on first and second, and in the sixth forced a popup to first to strand runners on second and third.

In relief in the seventh, Ava Zdanowski sent the Royals down in order.

For the Royals, it was a combo of Stewart and Tatem Adams that came up big in the circle.

Stewart got the start and threw 6 ⅓ innings of near-perfect softball.

The Bulldogs reached base in the first inning on a walk but were caught stealing, had one single in the second, one walk in the third, reached on a hit-by-pitch in the fourth, had one single in the fifth, and used two hits and a walk in the sixth to score their one run.

Twelve of the 19 outs Stewart recorded came on strikeouts.

Up 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff bunt single by Lapel’s Tatum Harper and a double by Laylah Gore put runners on second and third. Harper came into score on a passed ball.

With runners on second and third with two outs, a hard line drive off the bat of Jannings was caught by a leaping Bolding at shortstop to save the lead.

After the second batter of the seventh walked, Eastern Hancock head coach David Trackwell made the call to the bullpen. Adams came in — with the tying run on first and the top of the Bulldogs order coming up to bat — and shut things down.

She got Krystin Davis to ground into a fielder’s choice and struck out Harper to end the game.

Jama Everman, Ava Everman, Harper, and Gore each had hits for Lapel. Davis walked twice.

The Bulldogs defeated Wapahani 6-0 on Monday and played Anderson on Wednesday (after press time). They are back in action today at 5:30 p.m. at home against Delta.