The La Salle-Peru softball team came into Wednesday’s game against Plano with one goal – to walk out as Interstate Eight Conference champions.
Mission accomplished, as the Cavaliers were firing on all cylinders in a dominating 17-0 victory in four innings.
“We played well up and down tonight,” L-P coach Randy Huebbe said. “Chloe (Mitchell) pitched real well and is really stepping up as an ace. We had been slumping a bit in the middle of the season and now we are hitting the ball again and seem to be playing our best softball now, and this is the right time to peak.
“I’m really happy for the seniors. They have worked really hard for this and have led us all year, and that’s why I left them on the field so they could experience the championship on the field.”
The Cavs are 24-4 and finish 12-2 in the conference.
“It was awesome to win the title, especially since it is coach Hueebe’s first one and he has really worked hard with us to get it,” L-P senior Maddy Pangrcic said. “It was nice to have really everybody contribute tonight and have a part in not only tonight’s win but the success we have had the whole season. This has been a fun year and we are going to try to keep it going.”
The game began with Mitchell retiring the side in order on her way to erasing all nine batters she saw by working a perfect three innings in which six of the outs came via the strikeout.
The Cavalier offense scored two runs in the bottom of the first off Reaper pitcher Abby Hart.
With one out, Taylor Martyn walked and Paige Kirkman singled before Pangrcic singled in the first run.
The second run crossed on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ava Lannen to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Cavaliers got rolling when Callie Mertes recorded the first of her three singles in the second inning alone.
Addison Duttlinger followed her on with a single. One out later after a hit batter loaded the bases, Martyn laced a single to drive in two runs to double the L-P advantage to 4-0.
After a series of hit batsmen and a wild pitch that made the score 9-0, the bases still were full. L-P’s Izzy Pohar came off the bench to hammer a three-run triple to the fence in right center field, and the Cavs’ lead ballooned to 12-0.
A couple batters later, Mertes finished what she had started with an RBI single to make it 16-0 after two innings.
The third inning saw Mitchell complete her perfect night with a pair of strikeouts before the Cavaliers scored their final run of the night on singles by Martyn and Kirkman to bring the score to 17-0.
In the top of the fourth, L-P brought in Ava Lambert to close things out, but Plano’s Lindsey Cocks reached on a single and got to second base before Lambert was able to secure the victory with a pair of strikeouts.