HEBRON | Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson was pleased with the adjustments the Trojans were making at the plate, even though it took six innings for her offense to get going against Hebron pitcher Mollie Lindeman on Friday.
The Trojans scored three unanswered runs to defeat the Times No. 7 Hawks in nine innings, 3-1.
"We knew Lindeman was a good pitcher," Hopson said. "We knew we'd struggle."
The Trojans (6-6) struck out eight times and had four hits before they were able to score. In the final four innings, they scored three runs on four hits.
"I'm pleased, because I think early in the year, we've been having trouble adjusting (to pitches)," Hopson said. "It would be easy for a group to strike out that may times and bury their heads. When you're re-adjusting to some pitches, sometimes it takes that long."
Hebron got on the board first in the fourth inning after a double from Emily O'Leary scored Katie Clemens.
Sammie Howard scored in the sixth inning for the Trojans on a Megan Matheny single to tie the game at 1-1.
The Hawks tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, but O'Leary was forced out at second on a throw from third baseman Howard. Howard made the same play in the eighth inning to force out Audrey Sutherland after a bunt by Lindeman.
"I thought my defense did a nice job," Hopson said. "We had a lot of heads up plays, like that bunt Sammie picked up more than once to get the runner at second. That's something defensively we've had difficulty doing, remembering that you have to keep track of lead runners."
In the ninth inning, Mallory McKee doubled to deep left field and scored Matheny to give the Trojans their first lead. Two batters later, Sarah Richards singled to left field, scoring McKee to put the Trojans up 3-1.
Sydney Cooley struck out Kyle Doelling and O'Leary to start the ninth inning, and then Ashlyn Wheeler grounded out to second to end the game. Cooley pitched all nine innings, giving up eight hits, no walks and striking out five.
"I thought their pitcher did an outstanding job," Hebron coach Mike McLindon said. "We definitely seemed to be off balance on some, but I thought we kept battling. We were fouling pitches and keeping the ball in play and didn't have too many strikeouts. That's what I tell them, to put the ball in play and make them (the opposition) make the plays."
"We did get a run early, and we made all the plays we needed to defensively. No errors, and that's something I preach to my team. You have to be great in the field to back your pitcher up."
Lindeman also pitched all nine innings for the Hawks (5-2). She struck out nine, walked three and gave up seven hits.