MONTICELLO | Softball veterans like Amanda Shrader have touched the trophy three times at the Twin Lakes Invitational.
Miranda Elish is just getting used to this.
Yet when the prestigious 16-team tournament concluded Saturday with Crown Point on top for the third time in four years, senior Shrader was running around sharing laughs with teammates -- and rightfully so -- while Elish, a freshman, was showing veteran poise.
Elish showed host Twin Lakes that Crown Point is not going away any time soon, hurling a two-hitter and retiring the final 19 batters in a row as the Bulldogs beat the Indians 3-1 in the championship game.
“I feel awesome,” Elish said. “Our team, we just all came together. We just peaked tonight. This was really a big accomplishment.”
Elish pitched at least an inning in each of Crown Point’s five wins during the weekend. C.P. (14-3) outscored tournament foes 36-4.
“(Elish) has really come into her own, especially today even after she pitched a lot of innings this week,” C.P. coach Ginger Britton said. “She really bounced back nice from that first inning.”
Elish allowed a single to Twin Lakes’ Morgan Gutwein to lead off the title game, and Gutwein scored on Chloe McAchren’s single. After that Elish was perfect.
She struck out eight and retired the side in order in the second through seventh innings with seven ground-outs and four pop-outs.
Crown Point took the lead without hitting the ball out of the infield in the second inning.
Ally Rock walked and later scored on twin sister Amanda Rock’s ball that the shortstop misplayed. Siena Gyure reached after Ally Rock, and pinch-runner Morgan Matalin came in to make it 2-1 on a passed ball. Amanda Rock scored on a wild pitch.
Crown Point put runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings but did not score.
“We got done what we needed to get done,” Britton said. “The girls did a nice job taking extra bases, capitalizing on (Twin Lakes’) mistakes and getting runs when we could.”
C.P. rolled into the final with a 15-1 win over Pioneer in which the Bulldogs intentionally left base early just to record outs for the final two innings.
Shrader had the big hit, a three-run homer, in an eight-run second inning that put the Buldogs up 10-0.
“Everyone was hitting the whole weekend,” Shrader said. “Everyone was just piling on. It was a total team effort. We wanted to come back and win this tournament again, and we knew we had to do it with defense as well as our offense.”