Short game leads Hauser past Cougars

GREENSBURG — With the way Class A No. 3 Hauser was hitting the ball Thursday night, South Decatur may have wished the game had been rained out.

The Jets were highly efficient at bunting the ball, and that helped them to a 14-1 Mid-Hoosier Conference softball win.

“I think we were up to the challenge, and we knew what we were coming up against,” South Decatur coach Lisa Huff said. “The bunts really hurt us, but we haven’t faced a lot of teams that bunt the ball as well as Hauser. It took us a while to get adjusted, but we finally adjusted to it and fielded very nicely.”

The damage already was done at that point by Hauser (17-3, 9-0), which put up eight runs after two innings, and the Cougars (5-15, 3-5) couldn’t catch up.

Hunter Crain had another strong pitching performance. She finished with a four-hitter with three strikeouts. Her only brief hiccup came in the third inning when Annie Gant walked and later scored on a Brooke Helms double to make it 8-1 after three innings.

“I wasn’t bad at the beginning and got up in counts, but as the game wore on, I starting to get down in the count,” Crain said. “The defense really stepped in and got behind me.”

The Jets put up six runs to seal the game in the top of the fourth. Tessa Sims led off the inning with a double. Crain then had an RBI-single. Leah Joyce and Mykenzie Ault also added RBI-singles. Hailey Lange capped it off with a two-run double.

For Hauser, Lange was a home run short of the cycle and finished with five RBIs. Sims finished with two doubles and scored three runs. Ault tallied three singles and also scored three runs. Lauryn Starnes finished with two singles.

“We came out, and we were aggressive early in the count,” Hauser coach Craig Sims said. “We got a lot of bunts down. We ran the bases well and were taking extra bases. I thought the aggressiveness was great out of the gate.”

Chloe Smith, Mackenzie Kopplin and Claire Wullenweber all singled to go along with Helms’ double for South Decatur.