GRIFFITH | With a powerful swing of the bat, Brenna Boyle jump-started Andrean’s potent offense.
Combine that with another stellar outing from Nikki Steinbach, and the result was a 9-1 win against Griffith in the Class 3A Griffith Regional, Andrean’s eighth regional championship in school history.
Boyle drilled a grand slam in the first inning, giving the 59ers a 4-0 lead at the time.
“It was 3-1, which is a hitter’s count,” Boyle said. “It was really hit, probably out of the zone. I was just feeling it, I guess.”
Andrean coach Brooke Baker-Runyon has been pleased with Boyle’s hitting all season, but especially lately.
“She’s really stepped it up in the postseason and she’s really seeing the ball well,” Baker-Runyon said. “Brenna’s a gamer. You like it as a coach to have those kind of kids in the lineup.”
Besides one minor hiccup in the first inning when Steinbach gave up an RBI single to Sarah Galambos, the Andrean ace posted a solid game with 12 strikeouts, including four 1-2-3 innings.
“It’s typical Nicole; she had another good game,” Baker-Runyon said. “I said earlier in the postseason, this is her last hurrah. She’s not letting it go easy.”
Steinbach got into a jam in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Erica Yost, Galambos and Stephanie Brandner recorded three consecutive singles to load the bases, but Steinbach struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
The 59ers (25-4) would tack on two more runs in the third inning and plated one run each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Griffith coach Ed McLeod was pleased with his team’s fight in the loss.
“There were a couple times we could have put our heads down and said ‘That’s it,’” he said. “We didn’t, and we fought to the last out. You look up (at the scoreboard) and it’s 9-1. I never felt it. They did everything I could ask of them.”
Andrean will go on to face Yorktown in the Class 3A Twin Lakes Regional at 10 a.m. on Saturday.