ST. JOHN | It was old-fashioned softball at its best on Monday at Lake Central.
Two teams playing well led by a couple pitchers who have been nearly impossible to hit lately.
In the end, it was one play initiated by aggressiveness that led to the lone run and a 1-0 Crown Point victory over the host Indians.
The win clinches at least a share of the Duneland Athletic Conference title for the Bulldogs (20-0, 12-0) with two games remaining.
A leadoff double by Bailey Mores in the fifth inning led to the Bulldogs’ run. Ally Rock struck out after the double, but strike three was in the dirt. The catcher threw to first for the out, while Mores drifted off second base about halfway to third. Lake Central first baseman Alex Hickey hesitated as Mores forced the issue, then threw over the third baseman’s head, leading to Mores racing around to score.
"You always want to put pressure on the defense and I got lucky," Mores said modestly."I probably shouldn’t have gone as far as I did, but I was being aggressive. That’s what you have to do to win close games."
She was the only one who even remotely questioned the aggressiveness.
"It may work one time in 10, but it worked today," C.P. coach Ginger Britton said.
L.C. coach Jeff Sherman added: "In a game like that, you want to be the kid who makes a play. Kudos to (Mores) for making something happen. It was a tough play (for Hickey). That’s a freshman at first base and she’ll learn from that play."
Just one run was needed with the way the two pitchers were dealing. Miranda Elish had 10 strikeouts and no walks for the Bulldogs, but it was her efficiency that kept the Bulldogs undefeated.
In the second inning, she got three outs on four pitches. And in the fourth inning, a couple of fielders' choices gone wrong led to Lake Central (16-8, 8-4) loading the bases with just one out. Elish toughened up and got Hickey and Chrissy Addison to ground out — each on the first pitch — to end the inning.
“We got into that (jam) as a team and we got out of it as a team,” Elish said. “I knew I needed two outs anyway possible, and I just had to do my thing.”
Indians’ starter Annabel Karberg struck out nine and walked none.
“Annabel was wonderful today; I think she matched Miranda,” Sherman said. “She’s just had some tough luck losses this year.”
Sherman was hoping to make something happen in the seventh inning by pinch-hitting Sydney Scherzinger, who had a pinch-hit triple last week against Portage. But she flew out to left field to end the game.
"I didn’t want the game to end with her sitting on the bench," Sherman said.