LAKEVILLE | Wheeler's bats didn't come up when the Bearcats needed them most Saturday night.
Wheeler produced just a single run, and a sloppy sixth inning helped Adams Central defeat the Bearcats 4-1 in the championship of the Class 2A LaVille Semistate.
"That's been the story of our year," Bearcat coach Marc Bruner said of the offense. "In the postseason, we've done a little bit better job of stringing hits together. We just didn't do it on a pitcher that I thought we could have had some success against."
The Bearcats' lone run came when Angelise Vukin scored on a errant throw in the top of the sixth.
Wheeler starter Nickole Finch was cruising right along until she ran in to trouble in the bottom of the sixth. With the top of the order coming up, Adams Central recorded three straight infield singles before four consecutive fielder's choices and two errors led to four runs.
"They didn't get a ball out of the infield," Bruner said. "So it's not on Nickole at all."
Wheeler (19-8) had plenty of chances at the plate but were unable to capitalize. The Bearcats loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth but did not come up with another hit. Again in the fifth, the Bearcats had a runner at third with two outs but were unable to come up with the big hit.
"We've had kids that have come an extremely long way on this team," said Bruner, whose program won the state title in 2010. "At one point in the season, we were 4-4, third place in the (Greater South Shore Conference) and we were a mess. No one picked us to be in the final four. ... From midway through the year to the end, this team took leaps and bounds."
Bruner said he feels Wheeler has plenty to build on for next year even though the Bearcats will be making the jump to 3A next season.
"I think we have a lot to build off of," he said. "We have a lot of pieces back."