PORTER TWP. | Hebron provided plenty of offense Friday, but one defensive play might have been the key to victory.
Hawks right fielder ignited an inning-ending double play in the fourth by throwing out Boone Grove's Megan Smentek at home plate.
Hebron kept its lead at 3-1 and went on for a 8-2 win over the host Wolves in the Class 2A Sectional 34 semifinals.
The Hawks (22-5) broke the school's record for wins and advance to today's championship. Culver Community and Winamac begin the session with a 10 a.m. semifinal contest and the winner plays the defending champs at 1 p.m. for the crown.
With a run already in and runners on first and third, Boone Grove's Lauren Ferber sent a routine fly ball to Reick. The Hebron junior rifled a throw home and catcher Emily O'Leary applied the tag.
"I was ready," Christy Reick said. "If it was going to come to me, I was gunning it home. I heard 'Home, home' from the dugout and just threw it. I didn't even think about the throw.
"It was a routine play, but I thought it was a game-changer."
Hebron picked up two runs in the top of the fifth, to extend its lead.
"That was a huge play because we picked up some momentum," Hebron coach Mike McLindon said. "It was like a three- to four-run shift."
O'Leary, who was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, fueled the Hawks' response with a two-run double.
"(Reick's play) helped," O'Leary said. "They didn't get to score any more (in the inning), and we were able to add some runs. We were able to relax a little more and not worry."
Designated player Ashley Spurr was 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the first inning. Hebron totaled nine hits, three each in the first and seventh.
While Reick made the defensive play of the game, Boone struggled with its play in the field. The Wolves (10-14) made six errors, leading to three unearned runs.
Boone Grove coach Ron Saunders still thought his team played pretty well. After getting one-hit in an earlier 8-0 loss to Hebron, the Wolves reached starter Mollie Lindeman for seven hits. Mackenzie Starcevich had an RBI double, while Kaitlin Stone was 2-for-3.
"We've been a little more aggressive at the plate in the last four games," Saunders said. "We hit the ball pretty hard, and we gained confidence at the plate."