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ST. JOHN — Jessi Kiefor was screaming last August as blood, broken glass and twisted metal was scattered all over Route 2 in Lowell.

That's what happens with a car filled with three teenagers gets T-boned by a semi.

"It was going 60 (mile per hour)," Kiefor said.

The horror of that moment had her screaming the same thing, over and over again, as she was rushed into an ambulance.

"Don't cut off my leg. I have a college scholarship. Don't cut off my leg. I want to play," she said.

Her dreams of playing at Ball State next season would have to wait as time's slow hand took some time for the Lake Central senior left fielder to heal.

"I was in a wheelchair for six weeks," she said.

She was released just before the high school season began and had a slow start. But in Tuesday afternoon's warm air, Kiefor showed how good she is at 100 percent.

In The Times No. 1 10-0 win over No. 7 Valparaiso in Duneland Athletic Conference play, Kiefor went 3 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs in the six-inning win.

"I survived," Kiefor said with a smile. "It took awhile but I'm feeling better. Our hitting was like a chain reaction.

"Once one of us got going we all did."

L.C.'s Olivia Peterson led off the first inning with a double, one of six two-baggers for the Indians (19-3, 11-1). She scored on a single by Gabi Carra, who went 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

Amanda Noblett was in the car with Kiefor last summer and she had a two-run triple in the fourth inning.

And that's all senior ace Alexa Pinarski needed. The warmer temps allowed her speed to really pick up compared to earlier in this frigid spring. Some rest last week and some technical fixes allowed her to have one of her best games of the season, taking her record to 12-2.

She finished with eight strikeouts and only allowed two hits.

"It felt good," she said. "Earlier in the season I was putting my letterman's jacket on in between each inning, just trying to stay warm. I felt really loose out there in the warmth."

Cheyenne Mathas has two hits and scored twice for L.C. Madisen Tucker and Rylee Platusic also scored twice.

"(Pinarski) looked fluid out there," L.C. coach Jeff Sherman said. "She looked good. We put pressure on people early, scoring runs, which is what we want to do. It allows our pitchers to relax and do their thing."

And what about Kiefor's comeback?

"We didn't think we'd get her back until May," Sherman said. "We're just so happy she's all right and she's getting better every day."

While the Indians did hit the ball very well, the Vikings (9-6, 6-6) did not have a good day on defense. Many of the balls hit could've been caught.

"Honestly, they're real good," Valpo coach Tracy Corneil said. "They hit well. They defend well. And Pinarski is really good. Defensively, we were tentative and you can't be like that against a team this good."


Sports Reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.