With her catching duties taking up much of her time, Sam Gross doesn’t get
as many at bats in practice as her Chesterton teammates.
That didn’t seem to bother the senior on Tuesday afternoon as Gross had two
hits, including a two-run double that helped lead the Trojans to an 8-2
victory over Valparaiso in the first Duneland Athletic Conference game of
Tuesday marked the first time all season that the Trojans (3-2, 1-0 DAC)
scored more than three runs in a game.
“This gives us a lot of confidence,” Gross said. “We need to start hitting
and then we need to keep hitting.”
The day got off to a tough start for Chesterton, as the first six batters
that came to the plate were retired by Valparaiso freshman Susan
Friedlander. Gross, the leadoff hitter, struck out in the first at bat of
“Some kids strikeout when they first come up and they start thinking about
it,” Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson said. “Not Sam. She is always real
relaxed and it never seems to bother her.”
Jaren Lynch started off the third inning by drawing a walk and then advance
to third on a single by Sammie Howard. After a wild pitch scored Lynch,
Tarra Fine walked, setting up Gross’ two-run double. The senior catcher
later scored on a wild pitch and the Trojans had a 4-0 lead after three
“We just have to hope that we can keep the hitting up,” Gross said. “It’s
nice to win our first conference game of the season.”
The Trojans started the season 2-0, but dropped their next two games,
including a forgettable 8-3 loss to Hanover Central last Friday. With the
win over Valparaiso and another conference game against Merrillville coming
on Thursday, Chesterton has a chance to pick up some momentum heading into a
loaded tournament at Pendleton Heights this weekend.
To do so, the Trojans will need continued output from the offense.
“Coming off two losses, it feels good to put together a solid game,” Hopson
said. “You hope it’s just a matter of time (with the offense). We need to be
more focused out there.”
Chesterton junior Taylor Harlow was effective on the mound, pitching a
complete game and giving up just three hits and two runs. Harlow added six
strikeouts and walked three batters.
“She came and went a bit and seemed to regroup out there,” Hopson said. “If
we make a better defensive decision on a ground ball, maybe they don’t
Chesterton 004 001 3 - 8 9 0
Valparaiso 000 200 0 - 2 3 1
2B -- Sam Gross 2, Taylor Harlow, Jeanette Sosnowski, Ryan Bozak (C); Katie
Olejniczak (V). Pitching Summary: Chesterton -- Harlow (7 IP, 3 H, 6 SO, 3
BB); Valparaiso -- Susan Friedlander (5 IP, 6 H, 3 SO, 3 BB); Olivia Allen
(2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB). Records: Chesterton 3-2 (1-0); Valparaiso 0-2 (0-1).