Prep Softball

Griffith's Adams a proven winner for Panthers

2013-05-26T20:30:00Z 2014-05-26T16:04:32Z Griffith's Adams a proven winner for PanthersSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com

Sammi Adams is like Red Auerbach. Winning isn't a thing. It is the only thing.

The Griffith senior has won six sectional championships combined in four years in girls basketball and softball, the most recent coming on Saturday when the Panthers won the Class 3A Clark Sectional title on the diamond.

When Adams was a freshman hoopster, Griffith advanced to the semistate. She then won three more sectionals on the hardwood.

On Tuesday Adams and her Panthers (13-11) will look to win their first regional championship since 2000 when they travel to play Hanover Central (17-9). First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.

"I come from a very competitive family," Adams said. "We compete at everything. I think that's carried over to my sports in high school, too."

When not on a sanctioned field, Adams plays backyard ice hockey with her older brother, Zac, in the winter.

"He checks me into the snow all the time," Adams said with a laugh.

Summer Whiffle Ball games can also be quite intense, with little sister Rachel getting in the mix for a little bragging rights.

Adams will play both sports at Hope College in Holland, Mich.

First-year Panthers coach Don Bence was the program's junior varsity coach for three years, so he's seen Adams man the largest stretch of the outfield all four years.

His words about her defense are strong and true.

"Sammi is the best defensive center fielder I've ever seen," Bence said. "She's one of those kids, if the ball is hit anywhere near her she's gonna get it. And her arm is as accurate as they come."

Heading into the postseason, Adams was hitting .397 with a .493 on-base percentage. The speedy leadoff hitter had six RBIs and scored 19 runs with two doubles and two triples.

Griffith has won the last two meetings against Hanover in the regular season. This year's game, though, was washed away by the weather.

"With her speed at the top of the lineup really sets the tone," Bence said. "When she gets on base good things happen. It's a blessing to have an athlete like her. They don't come around very often.

"She'll run through a brick wall for you."

Griffith had a seven-game winning streak earlier this season with some big wins. Then, a skid started and Bence was out of town for a preplanned cruise.

After the Panthers lost to Wheeler to end the season, there was a big team meeting. Winning the sectional helped the confidence of the entire team.

"The kids got down, they were pressing," Bence said. "It meant a lot when they went up to No. 4 in the area poll. The kids were excited. We want to be the program that everyone gets up to play.

"I told the girls to be aggressive and stop pressing. We played three solid games in the sectional."

One more win and Adams will end her final season like her first one, in a semistate.

"We haven't heard a lot about Hanover Central," Adams said. "We have to go out, play hard and see what happens."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best boys tennis team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News