Chesterton softball coach LouAnn Hopson can remember back to 2006 when the
Trojans were playing for a state championship and a fourth-grader named
Sydney Cooley was in the stands cheering on the team.
Fast forward five years and Cooley is a freshman star for the Trojans as the
first baseman helped knock off Valparaiso 4-1 on Thursday afternoon with a
two-run double in the first inning and a run scored in the third.
Two days earlier Cooley hit her second home run of the year against Portage
and is making quite the name for herself in the early stages of her career.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to wear the Chesterton uniform,” Cooley said.
Cooley is one of three freshmen on the varsity this season along with second
baseman Sarah Richards and reserve catcher Mallory McKee. Richards started
on Thursday and added a single.
“We all love softball,” Cooley said. “We just kind of fit together and it
doesn’t matter who is older and who is younger.”
While Cooley and her younger teammates have been playing well this season,
Thursday wasn’t just about the freshmen. Senior pitcher Taylor Harlow
allowed just two hits and struck out five in seven dominating innings while
senior catcher Ryan Bozak had two singles. Fellow senior Heather Overla
scored a run after a single in the first inning.
The Trojans jumped out of the gate quickly, scoring three runs in the first
inning against Valparaiso freshman Megan Krantz. On Tuesday, Chesterton
scored five runs in the first inning against Portage.
“We scored some runs early and I was disappointed that we didn’t add a
little more,” Hopson said.
The only thing that slowed Harlow down on Thursday was the defense behind
her as the Trojans committed three errors in the field that led to
Valparaiso scoring its lone run of the game.
“If we don’t have the one (error), then the batter never comes up to drive
in the run,” Hopson said.
Next up for Chesterton is the Pendleton Heights “Horseshoe Classic”
tournament this weekend, which is traditionally filled with strong teams.
“We’re going to find out what we’re made of this weekend,” Hopson said.
“Winning would be icing. We’re trying to figure out what we’ve got. That’s
what I’m looking for this weekend.”
SCORING BY INNINGS
Valparaiso 000 100 0 -- 1 2 1
Chesterton 301 000 x -- 4 8 3
2B -- Maddie Shuta (V); Sydney Cooley 2 (C). Pitching Summary -- Valparaiso
-- Megan Krantz (6 IP, 8 H, 4 R); Chesterton -- Taylor Harlow (7 IP, 2 H, 1
R, 5 SO, 1 BB). WP -- Harlow. LP -- Krantz.
Alexis King battled through a rough start and pitched a complete-game for
the Trojans as Chesterton recorded a come-from-behind 10-9 victory against
The Trojans trailed 8-0 after three innings, but mounted their charge with
five runs in the fifth inning. After tying the game in the sixth, CHS’
Sierra LaFreniere singled home Shelby Carter with the game-winner.
Carter led the offense with four singles and a double, including three
stolen bases. King was able to help her own cause with three singles of her
own. Braelyn Molenda had two singles, a walk and scored twice for the
King had five strikeouts and allowed three walks in the win.