Sometimes in a season, you have defining games. Wednesday night might have
been one of those for the Chesterton Trojans.
The Trojans overcame three errors and worked out of a bases loaded jam to
pick up a 5-3 Duneland Athletic Conference victory over Portage.
“It’s a great win for us,” Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson said. “It seems
like every time we make errors it just gets worse and builds. Before the
game, I knew we were going to need one or two big defensive plays to get
this done tonight.
“We were going to have to get ourselves out of a jam and we got out of a
The biggest jam of the night for Chesterton came in the sixth inning with
the Trojans on top 4-3.
An error and back-to-back singles by the Indians loaded the bases with
nobody out. When Dani Bryan lifted a fly ball to center field, Portage coach
Gil Arzola decided to send Rhi Smolar from third.
Chesterton’s Heather Overla threw a one-hop bullet to catcher Sam Gross for
a double play. When Haley Hodges grounded out to Jaren Lynch at short, the
Indians were turned away.
“He decided to run on Heather and she threw a perfect strike,” Hopson said.
“That’s a huge pick-me-up for the girls. The outfield had to make plays and
they stood up tonight. Bozak made two plays prior to that where he didn’t
send the girl and she made a great throw.”
The Trojans immediately capitalized on the momentum as Sammie Howard reached
on an error and went to second on Lynch’s sacrifice bunt. Megan Matheny’s
RBI single to center field pushed the score to 5-3.
Relief pitcher Krista Bottos allowed just one runner in the seventh inning
as the Trojans picked up the win.
“I told Krista that’s the two or three innings I’ve been looking for to know
I can use you in relief,” Hopson said. “We’ve seen some starting innings
like that the last couple of years, but to come in with runners on and not
throw the ball in the dirt. Now I know.”
Portage and Chesterton both scored in the opening frame and the game
remained that way until the third inning when the Trojans put three runs on
“The more runners we get, sooner or later, we’re going to score,” Hopson
said. “The more runners you have, the more chances to score.”
Overla started the frame with a single and eventually ended up on third
after a pair of ground outs. Jeannette Sosnowski’s ground ball was booted at
third base plating Overla. Howard doubled off the right-center field wall
just before Lynch singled to center scoring both runners.
Portage scored two runs in the fifth as Kristen Ashby struck out but
advanced to first after a dropped third strike. Back-to-back singles by Dani
Bryan and Hodges plated a run before a Chesterton error scored the second
“All four of our losses are us just continuing to make mistakes,” Hopson
said. “We’ve got a couple of wins where we got past it, it’s not the error
always. It’s what it leads to.”
Taylor Harlow worked the first five innings for Chesterton to pick up the
“Taylor did a pretty good job,” Hopson said. “We made some errors and put
some runners on heading into the meat of their order. I get on the defense,
but I got on my pitcher and catcher a little bit about keeping the ball out
of the dirt.”
The Trojans return to the field on Friday when they travel to Lake Central
for a 4:30 p.m. start.
SCORING BY INNINGS
Portage 100 020 0 – 3 9 4
Chesterton 103 001 x – 5 7 3
2B – Kristen Ashby, Haley Hodges, Nikki Lloyd (P); Sammie Howard (C).
Pitching Summary – Portage – Natalie Korpak (3 IP, 6 H, 1 K, 0 BB), Kylie
Someson (3 IP, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB); Chesterton – Taylor Harlow (5 IP, 7 H, 3 K,
0 BB), Krista Bottos (2 IP, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB). WP – Harlow. LP – Korpak. S –