Chesterton Tribune

Comeback Kids: Chesterton Softball wins Regional title 10-8 at Lake Central

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By TR HARLAN

When the team’s lone senior and captain threw across the diamond for the final out, the cardiac kids had won another.

The Chesterton softball team battled back from an early 4-0 deficit to win the IHSAA Regional title 10-8 at Lake Central against the host Indians on Tuesday.

The Trojans will face Huntington North in the West Lafayette Harrison Semistate on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 10 a.m. Chesterton time.

“It’s hard to put this into words,” Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson said. “We’ve beat them before, but this is just great. It’s a big step for these kids and this program.”

Lake Central jumped on the Trojans quickly with four runs in the bottom of the first thanks in part to two Chesterton errors.

“I went out in the first inning to talk to them and just told them we had to damage control,” Hopson said. “We’d have a chance, but we couldn’t get blown out in the first inning.”

The Trojans started their rally in the top of the third inning when Sarah Richards led off with a single. Shelby Carter moved Richards to second with a sacrifice bunt and Megan Tymorek’s RBI single put Chesterton on the board.

“We put the one on them and I thought we were going to start to hit,” Hopson said. “I think the hitting by the bottom half of our lineup has really been a key the last month. I’m afraid to move Sarah (Richards) out of there. We’re getting production there. Shelby’s moving runners and getting on base too.”

A pair of one-out singles by Amanda Dumovich and Jill Bohnert got things going for Chesterton in the fourth. Carter’s two-out single scored Dujmovich and cut the lead to 4-2. Tymorek’s three-run home run over the right-center field wall put the Trojans on top 5-4.

Sammie Howard’s single and an infield hit by Megan Matheny put runners on first and second. LC appeared set to get out of the inning, but a dropped pop up off the bat of Sydney Cooley scored Howard.

Mallory McKee’s single to center went past the outfielder and to the wall scoring Matheny and Cooley for an 8-4 lead. McKee scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.

“Megan’s home run was the big blow,” Hopson said. “It put us ahead and then we just kept hitting. I think about a month ago we spent a lot of time talking about our approach to hitting. We couldn’t be so free swinging. Then we didn’t swing enough.

“We’ve finally started to make some adjustments and are setting up pitchers to throw the pitch we want.”

LC made a modest threat in the fourth inning, but a running catch in left field by Cooley ended it. Then the Indians got going again in the fifth.

A two-out single to center went all the way to the wall and ended with Bridget Boyle on third base. A botched ground ball scored her to cut the Chesterton lead to 9-5.

Back-to-back singles followed by a triple to right field by Andriana Bribiesca cut the lead to 9-7 before Tymorek induced a weak ground ball to first to end the threat.

“When we gave them three runs back, I was a little scared,” Hopson said. “We were so aggressive coming in for our outfielders that the wind was blowing the ball past them some.”

Tymorek answered in the top of the sixth inning with a solo home run, her second of the night, to left field for a 10-7 Chesterton lead.

Lake Central got a one-out home run by Kayla Bishton to right field to start a comeback bid of their own. Tymorek deflected a line drive up the middle and threw to first for the second out and then a ground ball to Howard at third ended the game.

“It’s super for her to make the last play,” Hopson said. “She’s a great kid and struggled a little bit Friday night. I’m happy for her to make a play to end a big game like that.”

Posted 5/30/2012