PORTAGE | Crown Point’s softball team strung together a pair of hits at the right time.
The Times No. 2 Bulldogs, who had been limited to one hit in the first seven innings by Portage’s Kiley Jones, had a pair of doubles in the top of the eighth to plate the go-ahead run and defeat the host No. 5 Indians 2-1 in a Duneland Athletic Conference game on Thursday.
“We had a rough start, but the girls dug deep and came up with some big hits when we needed to,” Crown Point coach Ginger Britton said.
Mandey Shrader led off the eighth with a double down the right field line. After a sacrifice bunt and a lineout to short, Shrader was at third with two outs.
Siena Gyure laced a 1-0 pitch from Jones over the head of Portage left fielder Jenna Alaniz to score Shrader.
“I was thinking (Jones) had to come in with a pretty decent pitch,” Gyure said. “It was inside and I just turned on it.”
Shrader led the Bulldogs (2-1, 2-0 DAC) with two hits and scored both Crown Point runs.
“Mandey’s a very aggressive hitter,” Britton said. “She doesn’t like to watch strikes, and I think that helped her today.
Miranda Elish, who replaced Gyure in the circle in the seventh, pitched two scoreless innings of relief to get the win. She retired six of the seven hitters she faced.
Portage (2-1, 1-1) scored the tying run in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of two-out hits. Alaniz tripled to the fence in right field, and Jalise McKnight scored her with an infield single.
“We were scooting it by,” Portage assistant coach John Hall said of the tying run. “That’s what you have to do.”
Jones struck out nine and gave up three hits and one earned run in taking the loss. McKnight had two of Portage’s seven hits.
Gyure gave up six hits and one run in her six innings of work for Crown Point.