As the Tippecanoe softball team headed into the post season, they knew their first round matchup against Meadowdale was less than ideal for the Red Devils. In a game that the Lions were overmatched in every aspect of the game, Tipp rolled to a 13-0 victory.
While the Red Devils were less than thrilled with the opening matchup, starting pitcher Sierra Sutton made the most of it. In fact, the matchup was perfect for her.
How perfect? The Tipp senior pitched a perfect game on the mound, striking out 13 of the 15 batters she faced in the Red Devils win. It was her second career perfect game, with her initial one coming last year against….Meadowdale.
“Coming into the Meadowdale game, we knew we should win that game and the concern was to keep everyone up for the game,” Tipp coach Scott Sutton said. “We had to explain to our kids it was ok to make plays, we had the same situation against Trotwood. We had to come out and do the basics and we would be fine.”
Sutton also had four RBIs for the Red Devils, and Kaity Stocker added three in the win. Tipp also had six other kids with RBI’s in the win.
Unfortunately, that set Tipp up against the #1 seed in the tournament in the second round, and the Monroe Hornets proved to be too much, cruising to a 13-3 victory.
“They were a great hitting team,” Sutton said, despite the Red Devils jumping out to a 3-0 lead.
Hailee Varvel led off the game with a single, Brooke Silcox then doubled and Stocker blasted a triple and Tipp was off and running leading 3-0.
That’s where the excitement stopped for the Red Devils, as Monroe fought back the rest of the game and eliminated the Red Devils.
“They took over the game and were putting the ball where they needed to put it,” Sutton said.
With the loss, Tipp ends the season 17-9 overall, an improvement from 10-15 the previous season. Sutton was impressed how much better the team played this season.
“I am proud of the girls on how we played all season,” he said. “We started the season 1-3 in Pigeon Forge and that was tough. Then we came in and didn’t know what to expect in the GWOC and we finished 12-3 in the division. We felt really good.”
“We set a goal of the team batting average in the .400s and we finished .429, we wanted an on base percentage of .500 and we came in at .490, and out of our 13 varsity players, nine of them improved their stats from last year to this year.”
Tipp loses eight seniors heading into next season and Sutton knows it will be a challenge to replace them.
“They are a great group of girls and they enjoy each other and we had no drama,” Sutton said.
Stocker finished her career at the top of nearly every offensive category in Tippecanoe history, as she will graduate with school career records in hits (177), doubles (37), triples (20), homeruns (36) and RBI’s (166), while finishing with a career .540 batting average. She also set some season records.
“She is a great player and leader for us,” Sutton said. “We had a lot of kids step up at different times this season.”
The eight seniors who will be leaving are Ashley Shepherd, Meghan Kauffmann, Taylor Yeager, Paytin Borders, Alyssa Halluer, Maddie Gibler, Stocker and Sutton.