LouAnn Hopson knew
that the Chesterton softball team was in for a big challenge against Crown
Point and Notre Dame recruit Alexis Holloway on Thursday afternoon.
While the Trojans
ultimately fell 5-1 to their Duneland Athletic Conference rivals,
Chesterton’s longtime coach was encouraged with her players after they never
flinched in the face of Holloway.
“We had (Holloway)
on the ropes enough that I felt happy that we were making adjustments,”
Hopson said. “We made some adjustments against her and then she made some
adjustments against us. It took a couple of innings, but our big thing today
was to make adjustments.”
Shelby Grimm was
hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the first inning and advanced to
second on a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Biz Zehner. Holloway got out of
the jam with a pair of strikeouts. The senior continued to roll during her
first pass through the Chesterton lineup. It was once the Trojans got a
second and third look at Holloway that they were able to find their groove.
doubled with one out in the fifth inning and scored when senior Hayley
McBride doubled in the next at-bat. Holloway once again used a pair of
strikeouts to get away without further damage.
Grimm doubled to
lead off the fifth inning, but again Holloway came back with a pair of
strikeouts as well as getting Kristi Stevenson to fly out to left field. The
senior pitcher got a ground out and a pair of strikeouts in the sixth inning
before Maddy Hamady added her second hit of the game in the seventh. Grimm
and freshman Faith Matta both made contact in the seventh inning, but
neither were able to deliver a hit to score Hamady.
with 14 strikeouts while giving up five hits and one run.
“I’ve got some
young ones that got some experience and I’ve got some older ones as well,”
Hopson said. “You can be nervous (after the first time through the lineup)
or you can come back and make adjustments. I thought we did a good job of
making her work.”
The Trojans (5-4,
2-2) have just four seniors on the roster this season and it was
underclassmen that got a bulk of the playing time against Holloway.
Sophomore Lexi Benko started as the designated player and then came on in
relief for starter Lauren Anderson after Crown Point got three runs off a
bases-clearing double from Mackenzie Dunlap in the second inning.
Benko retired the
first five batters she saw and didn’t allow a runner into scoring position
until Holloway doubled with two outs in the fifth inning. The sophomore’s
pitching line was superb until Dunlap struck once again, this time
delivering a two-run home run in the seventh inning. Dunlap drove in all
five of Crown Point’s runs.
didn’t make any mistakes,” Hopson said. “The problem Lauren had was she was
just getting deep in the count. We wanted a different look, just different
return to the field on Friday for another DAC game against Portage.