ROCHESTER | Kirsten Spangenberg's rough defensive day suddenly didn't matter when the Boone Grove junior lifted a blast to left field in the sixth inning on Monday night.
Spangenberg ended up on second base and pinch-runner Elizabeth Rickard scored on a RBI single from Kayla Yadron, giving the Wolves a 5-4 win over the Hawks in the sectional opener.
Boone Grove (17-8) will face Rochester this evening after the Zebras beat North Newton 9-2 in Monday's early game.
"This was our goal all year, and we came out and beat Hebron," Spangenberg said. "This means so much to us."
Spangenberg had a forgettable day behind the plate, as a pair of dropped third strikes led to two Hebron runs. The Hawks trailed 3-2 in the fifth inning when Spangenberg dropped a third strike and failed to connect with first baseman Meghan Smentek on the throw, allowing Kyle Doelling to score from second. Shelby Yankauskas then gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead with a two-out RBI single.
"I just got in my own head a bit, but I knew my teammates would have my back," Spangenberg said. "I went up to the plate knowing I had to deliver. I owed it to my teammates after the two errors."
The Wolves tied the game in the fifth inning when Hannah Golwitzer delivered a shot to right field that bounced off the glove of Hebron's Katie Clemons, allowing Kennedy Starcevich to score.
"We talked in the pregame that this game could come down to one bounce, one play in either direction," Hebron coach Mike McLindon said. "I asked them to give me a full seven (innings) today and they did that."
Hebron had a chance to tie the game in the seventh inning, but Boone Grove freshman pitcher Amanda Hawrot mowed down the top of the order to give the Wolves their first win over the Hawks (18-5) in three tries this season.
"We gave it our all tonight and we came through," Hawrot said. "We put the last two games behind us and just concentrated on this game."