Saturday, Saturday Saaaturday, night’s alright, for softball. Saturday afternoon Centralia Lady Panther Softball specifically.
For an older generation of Panther fans, Elton John’s 43-year-old hit song might have been their theme song as the Panthers won their thrice-delayed district semifinal softball game. They did so by beating the Montgomery County Lady Wildcats 15-0 in four innings at Columbia’s Hickman Field. Centralia finished the second tier of district play with a 20-6 record.
The Wildcats showed they were there to play serious softball from the first inning of the abbreviated game.
“They were hard hitters, that’s for sure,” said the 20-6 Lady Panthers’ Head Coach Jill Angell. “But that’s what we expected and that’s what we prepared for.”
“We tell our batters to be aggressive and send any first-pitch strikes right back up the middle,” admitted Lady Wildcat Head Coach Audra Heimer. “We try and be aggressive, put the ball in play and make them, the other team, work.”
And it showed. Especially on the pitcher’s mound. Centralia right-hander Gwen Bostic, a junior saw at least three of her pitches slammed right back her face by aggressive Lady Wildcat batters. The first two were Montgomery’s first two batters who sizzled grounders to the mound only to see Bostic scoop, pivot and throw the hits to first-baseman Courtney Luedloff’s waiting glove for the out. And at least three other times her glove-clad left hand shot out and caught them. “She was ready,” Angell said.
“She played a really good game today, threw well and fielded her position… exploded off the rubber to get bunts, a lot of pitchers could not have hustled to get the hits she got.”
For the complete article, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard