GALENA – Floyd Central start hurler Emory Waterbury shut down one of the state’s powerful offensive attacks, firing a two-hit gem as the Highlanders silenced Class 4A No.4 Bedford North Lawrence 7-0 in a key Hoosier Hills Conference clash on Monday.
The Highlanders, ranked No.13 in the latest poll, took a huge step toward winning the league title, improving to 5-0 in the conference, and it shook up the power ratings in the sectional that BNL will host in two weeks.
Waterbury (12-4) allowed only two harmless singles as Floyd (21-5) recorded the first shut out of the Stars (who were averaging 9.5 runs per game) since a 2-0 setback to Center Grove last season. The Highlanders can win the outright league title with a win at Jennings County on Thursday.
“She’s a good pitcher,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert. “We hit the ball soft a few times and hit the ball hard a few times. We hit it where they were when we hit it hard. Obviously we didn’t generate enough offense. It was a tough night.”
Floyd took control with a run in the first against BNL ace Annie Waggoner as Addy Ware walked, Peyton Drummond doubled, and Kylie Franks chased home with run with a fly ball. The Highlanders flexed their power in the fourth as Kate Satkoski doubled and Waterbury blasted a home run to left for a 3-0 lead.
The Highlanders rumbled out of reach in the fifth. Franks added another sacrifice fly, and Satkoski ripped a two-run homer. After BNL brought in Aliza Jewell in relief, Waterbury launched her second home run to cap the scoring.
Waterbury and Satkoski had two hits each. Waggoner lasted only 4 2/3 innings and gave up five hits and four walks while striking out seven.
BNL’s only hits came from Tori Nikirk (a two-out single in the fifth) and Waggoner (a lead-off single in the seventh).
“I am very proud of the effort that Emory put in against one of, if not the best lineups in the state,” FC coach Sean Payne said. “It’s always great competition with BNL.”
“For that caliber of game, it was pretty disappointing that we didn’t get more hits and more opportunities to score,” Gilbert said. “But the good news is we get to wake up in the morning and play tomorrow. This wasn’t a game that ended our season. The girls are disappointed, but it will give us motivation to get better and get ready for the tournament.”
The Stars (19-7, 4-1 in the league) will look to end their two-game skid at Seymour on Tuesday.