Prep softball

Hanover Central junior hits walk-off home run to beat Boone Grove in extra innings

2013-05-01T20:45:00Z Hanover Central junior hits walk-off home run to beat Boone Grove in extra inningsPaul Trembacki Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 01, 2013 8:45 pm  • 

CEDAR LAKE | On Saturday the Cedar Lake Softball complex was filled with dust, movement and gritty workers.

By Wednesday, the diamonds on the two main fields, where Hanover Central plays its varsity and junior varsity games, were tinted red with the addition of the crushed shale that replaced the previous gravelly mix.

But the fences stayed the same, and after a nine-inning grudge match between the host Wildcats and Porter County Conference rival Boone Grove, that was all that mattered.

Starting pitcher Ashley Yoways hit a walk-off solo home run, her first homer of the season, with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Wildcats beat the Wolves 3-2 Wednesday night to remain undefeated in Porter County Conference play.

“I really wanted to beat them,” Yoways said. “I was feeling good because I had a line-drive (double) to the fence on the at-bat before that. I rounded second and stopped. I didn’t know it was a home run, but they said keep going. It was awesome.”

While the new infield didn’t factor into the final hit, the newly smoothed pitching circle helped Yoways and Boone Grove counterpart Amanda Hawrot combine for 28 strikeouts.

“I was happy (the umpire) was calling the high ball because I couldn’t help it that I was throwing a lot of them,” Yoways said.

Yoways, a junior, struck out 12 Boone batters, but the Wildcats (9-5, 5-0) fell behind 2-0 in the third.

Boone’s Meghan Smentek walked and moved up on an error and scored on McKenzie Starcevich’s single. Starcevich scored on an RBI single by Hawrot to put the Wolves (9-5, 4-2) up 2-0.

Ivy Dawson singled home Yoways with Hanover’s first run in the third. The score stood at 2-1 until a squeeze play by Hanover in the bottom of the sixth. Kori Davis bunted, the throw home beat a charging Melissa Balkema, but Balkema dislodged the ball from the catcher and was safe.

“That was a bang-bang contact play, and Balkema is strong,” Hanover coach Larry McMillen said. “It was a lucky win. No matter who would’ve won, it would have been a lucky win.”

Bunts were a problem for the Wildcats, who popped out seven times and struck out 16 times against Hawrot.

Boone put runners on base in the seventh, eighth and ninth. Smentek was gunned down at third base on the same play where she moved to second on a slow roller to the pitcher.

Hawrot reached on an error with two out in the eighth, but the courtesy runner who was already in place for the catcher took her spot, and the inning ended on the illegal substitution.

A double play ended a threat in the ninth.

“You’ve still got to hit the ball and still got to execute, and we didn’t do that at the end,” Boone Grove coach Ron Saunders said. “I told the girls this was our best loss in three years. They didn’t quit. They stayed focused the whole time. In years past they’ve been intimidated in these games.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best baseball team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Featured Businesses