PORTAGE | The Crown Point Victory Tour made another stop Tuesday afternoon, and this time the Bulldogs came away with some hardware.
The Times No. 1 Bulldogs clinched the Duneland Athletic Conference title with a 4-1 win over No. 5 Portage.
While the Bulldogs (21-0, 13-0) briefly celebrated the conference title, the team was already focusing on the next task by the time they boarded the bus back home.
“We’re looking to go pretty far this year,” Crown Point senior Rachael Suits said. “All these wins right now are nice, but if we don’t continue to win in the postseason, these won’t mean anything.
Suits had two hits, including a RBI single to get the Bulldogs on the board in the third inning. Suits bunted to get on in the sixth and later scored as Crown Point coach Ginger Britton played small ball to plate three more insurances runs.
Crown Point pitcher Miranda Elish started the sixth with a single, followed by bunt hits from Suits and Rachael Honaker. Senior Bailey Mores delivered a two-run single and Ally Rock drove in another run before Portage recorded the first out.
“We were trying to sacrifice people over and sometimes all it takes is putting the ball in play,” Britton said.
In addition to winning the DAC title, Britton implored her team to accomplish smaller goals during the course of the game. Earlier in the week, she told the team she wanted them to record a diving out as well as a pickoff.
Portage’s Haley Perez laced a line drive into center field in the second, which Mores caught with a diving grab in the most impressive defensive play of the game. The game ended when Alexis Johnson struck out and Rock immediately threw down to third base to pick off Kiley Jones.
“They are a very good team and they outplayed us,” Portage coach Lisa Hayes said. “We have conference games the next two days. I don’t want them to dwell on this game, but I don’t want them to forget about it either. We won’t get the job done if we’re not focused.”
Kaitlin Doud had a RBI single in the sixth, scoring Dalton Minor with Portage’s lone run.
Jones finished with five strikeouts for the Indians (18-6, 9-3), while Elish fanned 10 for the Bulldogs.