CROWN POINT | The world was spinning quicker. The heart should've been pounding. But Hobart pitcher Dana Claussen's mind was somewhere else.
“I had to keep calm and do what I do,” Claussen said. “I had to clear my mind and not let it race.”
In the Class 4A Crown Point Sectional opener on Tuesday night, Michigan City loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning. The Wolves trailed the Brickies by a run.
Claussen, though, dug deep. The senior ace struck out the next two City batters to get out of the inning. Hobart won 3-2. It was the Brickies ninth straight win.
“No,” Claussen said when asked if she was throwing for a strikeout. “I was just trying to make a good pitch and if they did make contact it wouldn't be hit hard.”
Hobart (16-10) scored all three runs in the third inning, the big hit coming from Paige Talian on a two-out double that scored two runs.
“Early in a game the first team to score gets them up and going and they play more intense,” Talian said. “I tried not to think about it. I didn't care how many outs there were. I was just thinking about hitting my pitch.”
The Wolves (9-14) came back and scored two in the bottom of the third on RBI singles by Jameka Collins and Jaden Lane.
It was a much-different game than the April game between the two that the Wolves won 10-9 in nine innings.
“Talk about your opportunities,” City coach Mike Megyese said. “Bases loaded and one out. All we had to do was put the ball in play and we get a run. It's disappointing. But Claussen did a nice job.”
Hobart will take on Valparaiso in Thursday's semifinal. The Vikings beat Merrillville 10-0 in six innings in Tuesday's nightcap.
The Vikings (14-11) were led by Abbey Thomas, who went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Gabby Vinyard and Mimi Austin both scored two runs as Merrillville pitchers walked 11 Valpo batters.
But Vikings coach Tracy Cornell gave great praise to how hard the Pirates played.
“They came out ready to play, they were ready to go,” Cornell said. “I knew our bats would struggle. This is a good win. We have to be sharper and get ready for Hobart on Thursday.”