ST. JOHN | If it was by design, Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson won't admit it. If it was planned out, it was brilliant and allowed The Times No. 1 Trojans to win an insane game at Lake Central on Thursday.
Trailing 5-3 with two outs in the top of the seventh and no one on base, Chesterton found some magic dust and threw it into the air.
First, Mallory McKee drew a walk. Then, Shelby Carter singled. Still, there were two outs. So when Megan Matheny hit a lazy grounder to L.C. shortstop Lizzie Seymour the Duneland Athletic Conference game seemed over.
But the throw was low and bounced, allowing McKee to score with Carter running to third. Matheny got too far off of first and Lake Central went for her and started a pickle, but Carter scored the tying run before the Indians tagged Matheny out.
In the top of the eighth Jill Bohnert blasted a three-run homer that gave Chesterton the 8-5 win against No. 2 L.C., the Trojans third consecutive win against the Indians.
So was it the oldest trick in softball or not?
"No, that was Matheny being Matheny," Hopson said after the game. "She does things like that sometimes."
L.C. coach Jeff Sherman didn't condemn his players for going for Matheny, but he wasn't happy after the loss.
"We should've given another look at third," he said.
Chesterton (15-1, 7-0) jumped to a 3-0 lead on sophomore Annabel Karberg, who was relieved by Lily Del Toro with no outs in the third. Del Toro allowed one single and retired the next 13 batters. She needed one more out to end the game.
But in this crazy rivalry it never happened.
"I always believe in the rest of my teammates," Bohnert said of the comeback. "I knew my teammates would have their moments."
And of the game-winning homer?
"(I knew it was gone) off the bat," she said. "I felt that one."
McKee scored two runs on walks. Carter went 2-for-4 with one run. Matheny had a two-RBI single in the third. Sydney Cooley also scored twice for the Trojans.
"Our kids never quit," Hopson said. "If you hang around and never stop fighting anything can happen, and that's what happened."
Lake Central (12-6, 4-2) scored four runs in the third as Kayla Bishton and Melanie Pabon each knocked in two runs on hits.
Sherman did not want to compare the loss to last year's wild regional.
"No, different teams, different games," he said. "Kudos to the Trojans for not giving up. That's a quality team and teams like that never give up."