A USA-365 special report by Mark Smith
|CP senior Lydia Byrd (3) and assistant coach Jim Chancellor watch the early morning action against Hamilton Southeastern. (All photos by Mark Smith)|
|Hamilton Southeastern coach Dave Cook watches from the third base coaches box as Caitlyn Phillips (7) eyes a throw to first base.|
|Crown Point catcher Zoie Rettig (12) checks with the dugout for a pitch call early in Saturday's extra-inning game against Hamilton Southeastern.|
|CP first baseman Grace Frazier (1) is going to get this throw before HSE leadoff batter Abby Taylor (11) can get to first base in third inning action.|
|CP freshman pitcher Madi Young (13) pitched eight shutout innings against Hamilton Southeastern Saturday.|
|CP coach Pete Iussig watches sophomore Zoie Rettig (12) get ready to hit against Hamilton Southeastern Saturday.|
|Crown Point girls watch from the dugout as Hamilton Southeastern bats in Crown Point.|
|Hamilton Southeastern pitcher Jaylah Guilliam (7) pitched 10 shutout innings Saturday in Crown Point.|
|CP second baseman Maggie Ballentine (2) makes a diving stop in the first inning Saturday against Hamilton Southeastern.|
|Crown Point seniors Hannah Grady (11) and Brittney Johnstone (34) are honored on the back of the stands at the CPHS softball field. (All photos by Mark Smith)|
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|Team (Record) / Inning||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||R||H||E|
|HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (13-5)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||4||2|
|CROWN POINT (15-2)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||1|
Saturday, May 5,
2018 - 78 degrees and mostly sunny in CROWN POINT,
LP: Madi Elish (9-2) 3Ks, 0 walks (2 in.)
SP: Madi Young (CP) 1K, 2 walks (8 inn)
WP: Jaylah Guilliam (10-4), 6K, 1 walk (138 pitches)
Hamilton Southeastern (13-6)
Abby Taylor (LF) 0-for-4, Sac Fly, RBI
Lillian Leiner (CF) 1-for-5, double
Jordan Rager (1B) 0-for-3, walk
Libby Ratliff (3B) 0-for-3, walk
Nicole Lang (DH) 0-for-4
Kaelin Wincek (2B) 0-for-3, walk
Abbey Willmann (C) 2-for-4
Ahliza Moore (RF) 0-for-2, HBP
Nicole Dillow (SS) 0-for-4
CROWN POINT (16-3)
Caitlyn Phillips (3B) 1-for-4
Grace Frazier (1B) 0-for-3, HBP
Anna Holloway (SS) 0-for-3, walk
Mallory McMahon (CF) 1-for-4
Maggie Ballentine (2B) 1-for-4
Madi Young (P) 0-for-3
Madi Elish (P) 1-for-1
Zoie Rettig (C) 0-for-4
Delaney Adams (RF) 1-for-4
Madison Pizer (1B) 0-for-4
Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC)
as of April 23 - overall record in parenthesis
1.) CROWN POINT 10-1 (17-3)
2.) Lake Central 10-1 (18-3)
3.) Chesterton 8-4 (14-4)
4.) LaPorte 6-5 (13-5)
5.) Valparaiso 6-5 (8-5)
6.) Portage 1-9 (3-10)
7.) Michigan City 0-8 (0-13)
8.) Merrillville 0-8 (0-15)
CROWN POINT (05-05-2018) You're better off losing to an equal 1-0 in 10 innings than you are beating a team you are superior to 11-1.
That's what Crown Point got out of the round robin 'mini-tournament' they hosted in perfect weather last Saturday.
The Bulldogs lost 1-0 in 10-innings to Hamilton Southeastern before they topped neighbor Boone Grove 11-1 in five innings.
"We're going to get a lot more out of the first game," said CP coach Pete Iussig. "You learn from games like that."
CP has had an outstanding season, but they do have two 1-0 extra inning losses (the other was April 24 to Harrison) to top teams. This one came because HSE sophomore Jaylah Guilliam (10-4) kept the Bulldog batters off balance all day long with what looked liked a hard-to-judge curveball and some sneaky rise balls.
"She's been having a problem with a blister on her finger," said HSE cach Dave Cook. "This was the best she's pitched all year. It's been a tough week We played Noblesville, and Mooresville and Avon. And then we come up here to face the defending state champs."
"This was a great game between two great teams."
HSE, a 3,100-teen school in north suburban Indianapolis, won because Abbey Willmann laid down a quality bunt in the 10th inning after a leadoff walk to Kaelin Wincek. After CP's Madi Elish hit Ahliza Moore, Elish, pitching her second inning in relief of starter Madi Young, got a force play at home plate on a ground ball by Nicole Dillow. Abby Talyor then lifted a fly ball to medium deep center field. CP center fielder Mallory McMahon made a strong accurate throw to the plate and the ball and runner Wincek arrived at the same time. The home plate ump ruled that Wincek got her foot on home plate before CP catcher Zoie Rettig got the tag on her. Most after the game agreed the call was correct.
But CP lost 1-0, as they did to Harrison (16-2) in April, because they could not create a run in regulation time. Guilliam didn't allow a hit until McMahon singled with two out in the seventh and she retired 18 CP batters in a row at one time.
CP almost won the game in the bottom of the ninth. Caitlin Phillips singled and stole a base with one out. After a two out intentional walk to Anna Holloway, McMahon hit a 3-1 pitch deep into left center field. Outfielders Lillian Leiner and Abby Taylor had a minor collision in left center field. But Leiner made the catch to save the game for the Royals (14-5).
CP starting pitcher Madi Young (7-1) allowed two base hits and a walk in eight innings, throwing just 84 pitches. The tall right hander retired the last 14 batters in a row after she pitched around a couple of errors in the third and fourth innings.
Both Crown Point and Hamilton Southeastern defeated Boone Grove by the same score, 11-1 in five innings games Saturday. Elish (10-2) stuck out seven. Senior Lydia Byrd had a double, triple and three RBIs. Madison Kizer had two doubles and two RBIs.
Iussig confirmed that the HSE visit to CP was initially planned last year when CP defeated Hamilton in the semistate championship game. But while Cook noted that defeating CP was a big win, the HSE coach said that's not why he had looked forward to coming up to Lake County on Saturday.
"We had this date circled because of Pete (Iussig)," said Cook. "Pete and I have known each other for over 20 years. That's why we came up here."
CP NOTES: Crown Point's scheduled game with Penn has been cancelled. Penn was supposed to come to Crown Point Friday (05-04-2018), but when they had a Northern Indiana Conference (NIC) with Adams high game postponed earlier in the week, Penn had to stay home to play Adams.
Penn did offer to play CP at 7 p.m. last Friday if the Bulldogs were willing to drive 2 1/2 hours to Penn. With a morning game with Hamilton Southeastern scheduled for Saturday, CP couldn't do that. They would have gotten home from Penn after midnight in front of a 10 a.m. game.
CP senior Hannah Grady agreed that in the short high school softball season, the games come so fast, her team team doesn't spend much time preparing specifically for each individual opponent.
"We don't think about who we're playing," she said. "Whether they're state champs or what records they've set. We just worry about ourselves. We just have to try to be the best team that day."
Hamilton Southeastern and Crown Point could meet again, but only if both teams reach the Class 4A semistate tournament, which is to be played in June at Harrison.
The good news in the 4A Sectional 1 pairings is that Crown Point faces Morton (3-10) in the quarterfinals and East Chicago in the semifinals. It's hard to even find won-loss records for Morton and East Chicago. They are not strong programs.
The bad news (for Crown Point) is that, whoever CP faces in the sectional game, they will be the 'road' team, meaning they bat first in every inning. That's a distinct disadvantage for the Bulldogs in a state tournament game, even if it's played at Crown Point High School. The winner of 4A Sectional 1 will be at home in the one game regional on May 29.
Freshman Delaney Adams, a junior varsity player with only five at bats in CP's first 18 varsity games, started Saturday against Hamilton Southeastern. The new outfielder was 1-for-3 and she made a good, sliding catch in left field.
HSE pitcher Jaylah Guilliam, who pitched the 10-inning 1-0 win at Crown Point Saturday, has an earned run average of 3.60, very high for a good softball pitcher. But there's a reason for Jaylah's high ERA.
On April 12, Guilliam gave up 10 runs on nine hits including five homeruns in a 19-7 loss to 3A No.1 New Palestine. She pitched only 1-2/3 innings. New Palestine has hit 48 home runs in 17 games including 11 by senior shortstop Ashley Prange (38 of 65, .585, 49 RBIs).
That matters to the Bulldogs because Crown Point travels to play at New Palestine (16-1) next Saturday morning, May 12 at 10 a.m.
Grady said there really haven't been any adjustment problems to having four freshmen on the varsity this season.
"They add a lot to the team," Hannah said. "To have a younger team is very uplifting. They're very outgoing. They lift the mood. I'm kinda quiet in school. I don't say a lot. And when I come out here, I'm a lot more outgoing. I open up a lot more. They bring a lot of life to our team.
2018 CROWN POINT Bulldogs (17-3)
30-2 (2017), 28-2 (2016), 29-3 (2015), 29-1 (2014), 25-5 (2013)
Coach Pete Iussig (2nd year) 30-2
Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) games in CAPs - all weekdays games- 4:30 p.m.
March 26 (W) 13-0 (5 innings) at Hobart
March 28 (W) 11-7 at PORTAGE (3-10)
April 3 (rain) CHESTERTON
April 4 (rain) LAKE CENTRAL
April 6 (snow) at Munster
April 10 (W) 13-3 (5 inn.) at MICHIGAN CITY (0-13)
April 11 (W.) 17-5 (6 inn.) at LaPORTE (13-5)
April 12 (W) 3-2 CHESTERTON (14-4)
April 14 (W) 9-4 (West Lafayette) Harrison (14-2)
April 14 (L) 0-1 (West Lafayette) Harrison (14-2)
April 15 (Snow) LAKE CENTRAL
April 17 (W) 10-0 VALPARAISO (8-5)
April 18 (W) 10-0 (5 inn.) at MERRILLVILLE (0-15)
April 19 (W) 13-4 LAKE CENTRAL (18-3)
April 24 (W) 8-2 PORTAGE (3-10)
April 25 (W) 2-1 (8 inn.) at CHESTERTON (14-4)
Lakeshore high school (Stevensville, Michigan) round robin
April 28 (W) 5-3 (8 inn.) Lakeshore Michigan (4-1)
April 28 (W) 14-3 (5 inn.) Edwardsburg, Michigan (6-4)
April 28 (W) 12-1 (5 inn.)) Marian (9-6)
May 1 (L) 1-9 at 4A No. 2 LAKE CENTRAL (18-3)
May 2 (W) 9-2 MICHGAN CITY (0-17)
May 4 (cancelled) 4A No. 5 Penn (5-2) 5 p.m.
May 5 (L) 0-1 (10 innings) Hamilton Southeastern (15-5)
May 5 (W) 11-1 (5 innings) Boone Grove (9-6)
May 7 (Tues.) at Kankakee Valley (14-2)
May 8 (Wed.) LaPORTE (13-5)
May 9 (Thurs.) at VALPARAISO (8-5)
May 12 (Sat) at 3A No. 1 New Palestine (16-1) 10 a.m. (CST)
May 12 (Sat) at Carmel (9-10) 2 p.m.
May 14 (Mon) at Highland (11-6)
May 15 (Tues.) MERRILLVILLE (0-15)
May 16 (Wed.) at Lowell (12-4-1)
4A CROWN POINT Sectional 1
at Crown Point High School
May 21 (Mon) Morton - 5 p.m.
May 23 (Wed.) East Chicago - 5 p.m.
May 24 (Thurs.) championship (probably vs. LC (18-3) 5 p.m.
May 29 (Tues) Regional Championship - TBA (one game)
4A Harrison Semistate
at Harrison high school (West Lafayette)
June 2 (Sat.) semifinals - 10 a.m.
June 2 (Sat.) championship - 7 p.m.
4A State championship game
at Ben Davis high school (Indianapolis)
June 9 (Sat.) 5 p.m.