CROWN POINT | Miranda Elish and her teammates didn't hear it once or twice or three times.
The Crown Point Bulldogs were reminded frequently of what happened last year at the Class 4A Chesterton Sectional in the championship game against the host Trojans.
A huge lead was blown and Chesterton won the title and eventually advanced to the semistate.
On Monday night C.P. didn't have to wait long for a little revenge. The Bulldogs beat the Trojans 2-0 at home in the sectional opener.
Elish (17-0) was in eighth grade during last year's meltdown.
“We heard it every day,” Elish said of last year's loss after her one-hitter where she the Trojans (21-7) couldn't touch her fastball. “We kept them off balanced. We moved the ball all over the place. I never threw the same pitch in a row.”
Crown Point (25-4) scored in the first inning on two Trojans errors. Courtesy runner Rachael Suits scored for Elish who reached base on an error.
In the fifth, with two outs and first base open, C.P.'s Ali Rock, who had walked her first two at-bats, roped a double that scored the second insurance run. Rock was on last year's team.
“I wasn't thinking about it I was just hoping,” Rock said. “This feels good. I don't know how to explain it. But it's not like we won the whole thing.”
Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson did not start Division I ace Megan Tymorek, opting for Sydney Cooley instead.
“We shot ourselves in the foot with that unearned run in the first inning,” Hopson said. “They scored nine and 5 against (Tymorek) so we thought we'd try something different.”
In the opening game, Portage took advantage of six LaPorte errors to win 4-2. Indians' pitcher Kiley Jones scattered five hits and only allowed one earned run. The sophomore also doubled and had a RBI in the game, where Portage (19-6) scored four runs in the first two innings.
“As a team, we've all played better than we did in this game,” Jones said. “We had some pregame jitters before the game. We had to get over them.”
In the first Jones got a RBI while reaching base on an error. In the second, Stephanie Upton singled, Jena Alaniz walked and Jalise McKnight reached base on a fielder's choice. All three scored. Kaitlin Doud had a RBI sacrifice and Lauren Murray singled home another run against the Slicers (8-21).
“It stunk the way it played out but I'm glad it went in our favor,” Portage coach Lisa Hayes said. “Anytime you can capitalize on mistakes, it's huge.”
C.P coach Ginger Britton said she was more worried about her team already beating Chesterton twice and the Trojans seeing Elish twice. On a hot, windy night Britton agreed that her team had hit worse against Cooley than Tymorek.
“Absolutely,” Britton said when asked if she was happy the Trojans decided to pitch to Rock. “We weren't really putting a lot of balls in play. And she did it choked up, too.”