Big picture: Both pitchers threw no-hitters, but it was Boone Grove which advanced to a Class 2A semistate title game.
The Wolves (22-6) defeated Tipton 1-0 in the semifinals. Bremen won the other semifinal.
The deciding run in the game came in the first inning when freshman Erica Hoffman drew a walk and stole second base. With one out, Kellie Marcheschi hit a groundball to pitcher Claire Norred, whose throw went over the first baseman’s head allowing Hoffman to score and Marcheschi to reach second base.
At the bottom of the inning, Tipton had runners on second base and third base with one out following a walk and error but Marcheschi got out of the jam with a groundout to the catcher and strikeout.
Marcheschi and Norred combined for 24 strikeouts. Rachel Pate, a Boone Grove junior, was closest to getting a hit but right fielder Lexi Alttherr made a sliding catch of her sinking line drive.
Turning point: After walking and stealing second base in the first inning, Hoffman came home when the pitcher after fielding a slow roller threw the ball above the head of the leaping first baseman. Tipton never came close to scoring again after stranding runners on second and third at the bottom of the first.
Boone Grove player of the game: Senior pitcher Kellie Marcheschi. Nobody came close to getting a hit off Marcheschi, who had 11 strikeouts. She is taking her pitching skills to Western Illinois University in the fall.
Quote: "When you get to semi-state you know you’re going to face a good pitcher. Both teams had good pitchers. You don’t want to say who was the luckiest but sometimes that’s what it boils down to.’" -- Boone Grove head coach Ron Saunders.
Beyond the boxscore: Marcheschi struck out the last two batters to get the Wolves into the championship game. Third baseman Elise Richards and shortshop Haley Ferguson each fielded short hop ground balls and and made clean throws to first.
Saunders said Marcheschi would start the game in the circle in the title game.