Wins keep adding up for head coach Will Austin and his Seymour High School varsity softball team.
A victory Saturday over Gainesville gave the Tigers their fifth win of the season, the highest fall win total by a Seymour softball team in nearly a decade.
“We have the ability to win several more games this fall,” Austin said Monday. “In a best-case scenario, I can see us finishing at .500 or slightly above, as our schedule does get a bit easier over the next two weeks.”
It’s been a learning experience for Austin, who previously was only a boys’ coach in Seymour.
“We’re still learning the game, learning what to do in which situation,” he explained. “And because we typically play three or more games every week, there isn’t a lot of time to practice.
“I appreciate the work the girls are putting in. They want to keep getting better. We’re slowly doing that.”
Seymour enters this week with a 5-9 record, a vast improvement from the one-win season of last fall.
Last Thursday, the Tigers fell 8-3 to Mansfield.
On Saturday, Seymour played three games in tournament action at Norwood, falling 4-1 to Hartville in the first round, 6-0 to Van Buren in the next game, then taking seventh-place honors with a 9-3 win over Gainesville.
“Unearned runs hurt us in the three losses,” Austin said.
Against Mansfield, he said the game was close until senior Libby Buchanan sustained a knee injury in a home-plate collision midway through the contest.
At the time of Buchanan’s injury, the Tigers trailed 4-3.
“Eight errors did us in,” he noted.
Senior Reghan Matlock was the losing pitcher as she went the full seven innings, giving up eight runs (only one earned) on eight hits. She struck out seven and walked one.
“Reghan certainly pitched well enough to win,” Austin said. “Seven unearned runs ... there’s the ballgame.”
Offensively, the Tigers were led by juniors Macey Hubbard and Karli Henry, each with two hits.
Senior Amy Herion had a triple, scored a run and had one run batted in (RBI).
Buchanan and Henry also scored runs.
In the opening round of tourney play Saturday against Hartville, Seymour opened the contest with a run for an early 1-0 lead, then a pair of fielding errors let the Eagles take a 2-1 in the bottom of the frame.
Hartville added two more runs in the third inning.
Herion was the hard-luck losing pitcher.
She went five innings and gave up four runs (one earned) on five hits. She had three strikeouts and issued no walks.
“Only one earned run,” Austin said, shaking his head.
Offensively, the Tigers had only three hits, all singles, by Herion, Matlock and freshman Lillie Rasmussen.
Herion scored Seymour’s lone run.
In the next game Saturday against Van Buren, Seymour had seven hits to Van Buren’s eight; however, the Tigers lost in the run department by a 6-0 count.
“We just couldn’t get a big hit,” Austin said.
Henry and junior Crystal Misemer each had two hits; one of Misemer’s hits was a double.
Buchanan also had a double.
With singles were Hubbard and Rasmussen.
Matlock pitched all five innings and allowed six runs (three earned) on eight hits. She had two strikeouts.
In Saturday’s final game, Seymour’s bats ignited as the Tigers scored nine runs.
The Tigers led 3-0 after one inning, 5-3 after two and 7-2 after three.
Herion was the winning pitcher.
Offensively, Matlock led Seymour with three runs.
Rasmussen had a double and two RBIs.
“It was nice to end the tourney with a win,” Austin said.
“However, I felt we missed an opportunity at this tournament to win at least a couple of games.”
On Thursday, the Tigers travel to Gainesville.
Action starts at 4:30 p.m.