CROWN POINT | When a former Indiana Miss Softball can’t say enough about a pitching performance, it must have been impressive.
On Saturday, that Miss Softball was Andrean coach Brooke Baker-Runyon and the pitching effort came from the duo of Miranda Elish and Alexis Holloway, who helped lead Crown Point to winning all three games at the Crown Point Invitational, including a 4-0 victory over Andrean to clinch the title.
Crown Point’s Miranda Elish started all three games of the round-robin tournament, striking out 36 in just 15 innings of work. In her last two games, she struck out the first nine batters against Hanover Central and Andrean.
“She gets ahead and then we’re at the mercy of her,” Runyon said.
But it wasn’t just Elish. As in a couple games earlier this season, Bulldogs coach Ginger Britton brought in freshman Alexis Holloway to finish the last three innings against the 59ers. Her change of speed was no match for Andrean hitters after facing the speed of Elish.
“Together they’re an unbelievable pitching staff,” Runyon added. “What makes (Holloway) so good is that she can hit any spot with her changeup and it sets up everything else. I’m really impressed with both of them.”
Using both in a game is starting to become something opposing coaches have to worry about.
“It’s a nice duo who compliment each other’s strength,” Britton said. “It’s definitely an option to pitch both in a game.”
Their hitting was definitely on, too, in the three victories. Elish had five hits from the leadoff spot, while Hollway had three hits, including a RBI triple in the first game, a 10-0 win over Kankakee Valley (7-5). Ally Rock also had four hits and four RBI, including a two-run double, for the Bulldogs (8-0).
“It was definitely a team effort today,” said Elish, who has only given up one run in seven starts. “We put up runs every game and I just held the lead for my team. Coach was calling awesome pitches and when the ball was put in play, our fielders made the plays.”
Andrean (6-4) had a chance to take the trophy because of its first game against Hanover Central in which the 59ers trailed 6-0 before scoring seven runs in the fourth and final inning. The invitational used a time limit because all teams played three games in one day.
That not only gave Andrean the lead — the big shot was a three-run home run by freshman Haley Huesken — but allowed the 75-minute time limit to run out.
But the 59ers lost its second game against Kankakee Valley 3-1 — the same score KV beat Andrean by earlier in the week.
“I don’t know why we can’t hit KV’s pitching,” Runyon said.