HAMMOND | Wheeler first baseman Gianna Hamady tries to not let any moment be too big for her on the softball diamond.
The freshman showed the poise of a senior in the Times No. 5 Bearcats' 1-0 Greater South Shore Conference win over No. 4 Bishop Noll.
Senior Karessa Sweeney, who went 2-for-2, led off the top of the seventh with a walk, then right fielder Faith Barajas reached on an error, prompting both runners to advance to second and third.
After Hamaday reached on a fielder's choice, she eventually wound up advancing to third after back-to-back force outs and she scored the game's lone run on a wild pitch from Noll freshman starter Ashley Gordish.
"I knew I was definitely going because I had to be smart on third," Hamaday said. "Because it was the seventh inning, I had to dig deep."
Gordish went the distance, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out four.
"I like the adjustments we made at the plate and I was very excited to see who was coming up for us in the inning because (Hamady, Kylie Horn, Kadie Spoor) were hitting the ball hard," Wheeler coach Marc Bruner said.
Nickole Finch dominated a vaunted Warrior offense, tossing a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts for Wheeler (9-1, 6-0).
"I have seen them for four years now, so we knew what we had to do," Finch said. "I missed some spots, but I knew my team would come through for me."
Noll (9-1, 4-1) had just one viable threat when first baseman Jade Acevedo doubled, but she was left stranded after a Tori Keilman strikeout and Rachel Sherbondy groundout.
"We didn't put a lot of good swings on the ball," Noll coach Rich Sobilo said. "We've done well against tough pitchers, but Finch is the best one we have faced so far."