Cloyd's clout lifts Titans to triumph on Senior Night

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Two-run homer helps Collins stay unbeaten vs. Shelby County

By Josh Cook

Sydney Cloyd saved Senior Night.

Cloyd, one of two seniors on the Collins softball team, hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to propel the Titans to a 6-5 triumph over crosstown-rival Shelby County on Tuesday night, their Senior Night.

“I would’ve cried [if we would’ve lost], I would’ve been pretty upset,” Cloyd said.

Instead, she and fellow senior, Lindsey Ketcham, were all smiles after Collins’ fifth consecutive victory, when they were honored.

Tuesday’s game was a rematch of last year’s 30th District Tournament semifinal, won 16-9 by Collins, and a pre-match of the district tourney semifinals (the Titans will be the No. 2 seed, the Rockets the No. 3), which will be played May 21 at Collins.

Shelby County, which lost its first four games against Collins by a combined score of 50-12, went toe-to-toe with the Titans in the fifth meeting.

The Rockets (8-15, 1-2), who were coming off a 9-6 victory over reigning 8th Region champ Oldham County on Monday, took the early lead Tuesday, plating one run in the top of the first inning. Sophomore shortstop Sydney Wright led off the game with a single, moved to second on a passed ball, then scored on seventh-grader Allyson Long’s two-out single.

The Titans (14-17, 2-1) responded with a trio of runs in the bottom of the second thanks to Janette Hynes’ sacrifice fly and a two-out, two-RBI triple by Shelbi Poehlein, who was recently elevated to the leadoff spot in Collins’ lineup, a move that has spurred the Titans.  

“We put all our power together and all our speed together to see what would happen,” said Collins Coach Suzanne Cates, whose team is averaging 7.8 runs in its past five games and 6.4 for the season.

Shelby County cut Collins’ lead to 3-2 in the top of the third when Wright tripled with one out then scored on one of the Titans’ three errors.

The Rockets then took the lead with a three-run fourth frame. Collins starter Carson Murray walked Elisabeth Ivers and Briana Waits with one out before giving way to freshman Hannah Renfro. Eighth-grader Hannah Webb greeted Renfro with an RBI-single before Shelby starting pitcher Savannah Smeaton singled. Sophomore Abby Wills followed with an RBI-single before Webb scored on Wright’s RBI-ground out to make it 5-3.

The Titans trimmed Shelby’s lead to 5-4 in the fifth when Murray singled with one out, stole second, then scored on Sam Veal’s single.

In the sixth, Poehlein singled with one out before Janelle Hynes hit into a fielder’s choice, beating out Webb’s throw to first base in a double-play attempt. Cloyd took one ball from Smeaton before driving her next offering, a fastball down the middle, over the fence in left-centerfield for her sixth home run of the season.

“My strategy was, and I’ve only done this one other time, was I said a little prayer before I went up there,” Cloyd said. “I said, ‘God please let me hit this out.’”

She did, setting off a celebration in the Collins dugout.

“She’s come through so many times this year,” Cates said of Cloyd, who is hitting .419, slugging .837 and has a team-high 40 RBIs.

Added Cloyd: “I always hoped I would hit a home run on Senior Night, but usually it doesn’t go like you want.”

In the top of the seventh, Murray returned to the mound for the Titans and retired three of the four hitters she faced – Kara Wiley reached base on a one-out error – to end the game.  

Renfro registered the win. She allowed one earned run on four hits while walking two in two and two-thirds innings. Meanwhile Murray, a seventh-grader, gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits while walking two and striking out one.

Poehlein went 3-for-4 – raising her team-high batting average to .489 – with two RBIs while Cloyd, Murray and Veal added two hits apiece for the Titans.

Wright and Wills led the Rockets with two hits and one RBI apiece (Wright also scored twice).

Collins, which played at Bullitt Central on Thursday, is scheduled to play at Gallatin County today before playing at South Oldham on Monday. Shelby County, which hosted South Oldham on Thursday, plays at Owen County today. The Rockets then play St. Henry at noon Saturday at Henry Clay, before playing the host Devils at 4 p.m. They then play at Trimble County on Monday and at Spencer County on Tuesday.


Collins 6, Shelby County 5

Shelby County             101 300 0 – 5  7  1

Collins                        030 012 X – 6 12 3

Savannah Smeaton and Kara Wiley. Carson Murray, Hannah Renfro (4), Murray (7) and Janelle Hynes. W – Renfro (2-0). L – Smeaton (5-14). SV – Murray (1). 3B – Sydney Wright (SCHS), Shelbi Poehlein (CHS). HR – Sydney Cloyd (CHS). Records – Shelby County 8-15, 1-2; Collins 14-17, 2-1.