PORTER TWP. — Nearly a year to the day that the Boone Grove softball team grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory in a heartbreaking regional loss to Andrean, the Wolves got a little payback against the 59ers.

Boone Grove blew a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning last year in a 5-4 regional loss to Andrean and nearly blew a 7-1 lead on Tuesday, but the Wolves wouldn’t be denied this year, winning their fourth regional title in five years with a 9-5 win.

Elise Richards and Kellie Marcheschi combined for seven hits, four runs and four RBIs, while Rachel Pate added a solo home run and saved a home run with a catch at the fence in the sixth.

“I just wanted to win,” Marcheschi said. “I didn’t really think about (last year). I kept telling my teammates that we needed to get more runs. If we scored enough early, we weren’t going to have to worry about it.”

The Wolves (21-6) looked to be in early control, scoring five runs in the second inning to take a commanding 6-1 lead over the 59ers. Richards tripled in the fourth inning and later scored to extend the lead to six runs. All looked to be moving smoothly into the fifth inning as Marcheschi got Andrean’s first two batters out on a pair of grounders. The inning appeared to be over when Boone Grove second baseman Erica Hoffman made a diving grab off contact from Ashley Talaga, but the umpires ruled that Hoffman trapped the ball.

The 59ers (16-18) followed with an infield single from Karli Miller and a two-run single from Alyssa Graegin. Senior catcher Lilly Pitts then blasted a two-run home run to cut Boone Grove’s lead to 7-5, bringing back shades of last season’s comeback.

Keep reading for FREE!
Enjoy more articles by signing up or logging in. No credit card required.

“Of course I was thinking about it, but you try not to bring that up in the dugout,” Boone Grove coach Ron Saunders said. “What I said to them was that we needed to go out there and get a couple of these runs back.”

The Wolves delivered, but not before Andrean dealt another scare to the Boone Grove faithful. With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Andrean junior Angelena Green lifted a drive to deep right field that had Pate running with her back to the ball. The junior caught the ball over her shoulder before slamming into the fence. Pate held onto the ball and got the Wolves one out closer to another regional title.

Pate capped off her inning for the ages with a solo home run to start off the bottom of the sixth, giving Boone Grove a big insurance run. Saunders gave Pate the game ball after the Wolves closed out the victory.

“The catch was the bigger play,” Pate said. “It gave us a lot of momentum. We also needed to keep getting runs. Last year, we got comfortable and we let them come back in the game. We needed to keep scoring today.”

Tuesday’s game was moved from Boone Grove High School to the middle school about 90 minutes before first pitch due to standing water in the high school outfield. Administration from both schools talked about postponing the game, but with rain in the forecast for the rest of the week, the decision was made to move the game to the middle school.

“I wasn’t too pleased about it because I really don’t like this mound,” Marcheschi said after missing out on the chance to play one final game at her home field. “I didn’t really let it bother me. Our goal was still to come out and win.”

Get in the game with our Prep Sports Newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.