Leo shocks Bulldogs with 11-1 Semi-State Title victory in Girls Softball
A USA-365 special report by Mark Smith

Brinkley Kita pitches to Leo's Haley Hines (21) in the Northern Semistate championship game. Kita started every playoff game for CP.  (Photo by Mark Smith)
CP third baseman Caitlyn Phillips grabs a ground ball for a quick out against Fishers in the Semi-state Semifinals at Harrison high.
Leo second baseman Alissa Davis goes low for the throw to retire CP's Delaney Adams at first base in the semistate championship game.
CP's Mallory McMahon watches a low pitch go by. McMahon hit her fourth home run of the season in CP's 9-2 win over Fishers.
CP left fielder Delaney Adams looks on as shortstop Anna Holloway fields a ground ball that was deflected by third baseman Caitlyn Phillips.
Leo came with the full fan base including the Lions' dog mascot complete with his school color (purple) collar.
CPs Anna Holloway scoops up ground ball in the Semi-state Semifinal against Fishers.
Leo junior Ashley Miller was hard on Crown Point pitching six no-hit innings in the title game.
The CP infield looks to the bench for instructions. Left to right are Caitlyn Phillips, Anna Holloway, catcher Zoie Rettig, pitcher Brinkley Kita, Grace Frazier and Maggie Ballentine.
Leo was all smiles after the game including lead off man Aliyah Andrews (7), one of seven juniors on the Lions' squad.
CP sophomore Madi Elish isn't the only one in the CP dugout who didn't like the way things were going late in the Northern Semistate championship game.
CP did have an outstanding 29-5 record but that '11-1' on the scoreboard at Harrison leaves a sour taste on a sweet season. (All photos by Mark Smith)

Copyright © 2019 USA-365.com and Meyer Multimedia Services, a division of Meyer Broadcasting Corp.  All rights reserved.
Revised: June 11, 2019.


Team (Record) / Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
LEO (25-1) 1 0 0 3 0 2 5 11 14 3
CROWN POINT (29-5)  0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1

Saturday, June 1, 2019 - 78 degrees, 7 p.m. start in 4A Semi-State Final game at LaFAYETTE, IN
LP – Brinkley Kita (7-2) 5K, 0 walk (2 1/3 inn.)
WP – Ashley Miller (12-0) 4K, 1 walk (6 1/3 in.)

Leo (25-1)
Aaliyah Andrews (CF) 2-for-5, stolen base
Alissa Davis (2B) 0-for-3, walk
Kennedy Shade (SS) 3-for-4, 2 RBIS
Ashley Miller (P) 2-for-4
Haley Hines (RF) 2-for-4, 3 RBIs
Kiley Patterson © 3-for-4 double, 4 RBIs
Siena Spahiev (LF) 0-for-3
Olivia Simcox (PH) 1-for-1, double, 2 RBIs
Morgan Stuckey (DP) 2-for-4, RBI
Ellenor Schelm (1B) 0-for-3

Caitlyn Phillips (3B) 0-for-2, walk
Madi Elish (DP-P) 0-for-3
Anna Holloway (SS) 0-for-3
Mallory McMahon (CF) 1-for-3
Maggie Ballentine (2B) 0-for-3
Zoie Rettig © 1-for-2, sac bunt, RBI
Grace Frazier (1B) 0-for-3
Brinkley Kita (P) 0-for-1
Madi Young (P-DP) 0-for-2
Delaney Adams (RF) 0-for-2

Team (Record) / Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
CROWN POINT (29-4) 1 0 4 0 0 4 0 9 14 1
FISHERS (17-10)  0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 3

Saturday, June 1, 2019 - 78 degrees, 11 a.m. start in 4A Semi-State Semifinal game at LaFAYETTE, IN
WP – Brinkley Kita (7-1) 4K, 1 walk (2 1/3 inn.)
Madi Elish (Save #5) 3K, 0 walks (3 inn.)
LP – Hannah Mays (14-8) 6K, 0 walks

Caitlyn Phillips (3B) 1-for-4, stolen base
Madi Elish (DP-P) 2-for-4
Anna Holloway (SS) 1-for-4
Mallory McMahon (CF) 2-for-4, HR, RBI
Maggie Ballentine (2B) 3-for-4, double 3 RBI
Katie Neal (RF) 0-for-2
Delaney Adams (PH) 1-for-2
Grace Frazier (1B) 1-for-3
Zoie Rettig (C) 3-for-4, double, 3 RBIs
Brinkley Kita (P) 0-for-1
Madi Young (P-DP) 0-for-3

Fishers (17-10)
Courtney James (LF) 0-for-3, walk
Olivia Stinson (2B) 0-for-4
Brooke Benson (SS) 2-for-3, double
Hannah Mays (P) 0-for-4
Olivia Latimer (RF) 1-for-3, 2 RBIs
Caroline Bernhardt (1B) 1-for-3
Kaylee Kardash (3B) 1-for-3
Jade Frye (CF) 0-for-3
Sara Bumps (C) 0-for-3

LAFAYETTE (06-01-2019) Folks say it doesn’t matter if you lose the ‘big game’ by one or if you lose by 10. You still lost.

Folks say a lot of things.

CP vs. Leo was a runaway in the night. Great for the Leo Lions, who rolled up 14 base hits in an 11-1 win over Crown Point in the Class 4A Harrison Northern Semistate championship game last Saturday night.

But those of us who are partial to the Bulldogs very much want to forget about their evening in the Saturday Lafayette sunset.

The 10-run defeat brought a difficult end to another highly successful season. I didn’t see it coming. And I wish I hadn't see it at all.

In their final appearance as CP seniors, a significant core of the 2017 state championship team, took a loss I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

Leo led 1-0 after two minutes, 4-0 after four innings. 6-0 after six innings. And the Lions sent 14 batters to the plate in a five-run seventh. CP batters didn’t get a base hit until the score was 11-0.

I’m still looking for the last time Crown Point lost a softball game by 10 runs. I’ll get back to you on that. It's been at least 10 years.

Leo junior right-hander Ashley Miller, a Michigan State University recruit, was backed by a spectacular defense as she held CP (29-5) hitless until the seventh inning. Meanwhile, the Class 4A No. 10 Lions (25-1) hit all three of CP’s highly-regarded pitchers very well.

On defense, Leo shortstop Kennedy Shade made an outstanding catch to take a two-out third inning single away from CPs Caitlyn Adams.

Leo’s centerfielder Aliyah Andrews took a leadoff fourth inning triple away from Madi Elish with a fine running catch in left center.

And then there was Miller (13-0, 0.33 ERA), a baby-faced 17-year old righty, who had allowed just four earned runs and 30 hits all season. On offense, Miller was 2-for-4 and catcher Kiley Patterson had three hits, including the game’s biggest blow.

With the Lions leading just 1-0, Miller and Kennedy Shade got back-to-back hits against CP starting pitcher Brinkley Kita (7-2).

Coach Pete Iussig made a change, putting in sophomore Madi Young (9-1), who got Leo’s Haley Hines to ground out for the second out.

But on a 2-2 pitch to Patterson the left-handed hitter lined a three-run double to right center field, making the score 4-0. That was the ball game right there. Leo had not allowed more than three runs in any game all season.

Leo pitching allowed 14 runs all season.

“That’s an amazing hitting team,” CP senior Mallory McMahon said of the Lions, who averaged nine runs per game and headed to the state championship game with a .433 team batting average.

“Our pitchers were hitting their spots and they were hitting anything. They (Leo) are probably the most disciplined team we’ve seen this season.”

“It wasn’t them getting lucky. They are a very talented team. Their pitcher was hitting all her spots. She had a good change up and drop ball. You just didn’t know what was coming next.”

Folks also say that even if you lose in the semistate title game, well, at least you won the sectional and regional. You still had a great year. Really?

Even when its 11-1 in the game that would get you to the championship game??

“We weren’t expected to make it as far as we did,” explained McMahon, who spoke for the Bulldogs after the loss. “I'm proud of every girl on the team. It's hard to have to go out with a loss like this. It's hard to believe.”

It's true that CP’s sectional win over Lake Central was an upset. But big school programs have big expectations. CP is 170-20 over the last six years. That program cant get ‘10-runned’ at the semistate.

It was hard to explain. CP girls watched Leo beat Penn 2-1 in the morning semifinals. Everyone knew the Lions were formidable, but CP had taken down 4A top-10 teams Munster (25-6), Lake Central (26-4) and Chesterton (21-7-1) in consecutive road playoff games.

Crown Point had won 13 games in a row. They had won twice on the Harrison high field earlier this year, the site of CP’s 2017 semistate victory.

The Bulldogs will return their entire pitching staff in 2020. But CP also returns with absolutely no guarantee they will ever be one game from the state finals again.

Folks say that when youth sports teams lose a big game, by the time the bus gets home, kids on the losing team have already forgotten about it and moved on.

I hope that’s true. With the Lady Bulldogs’ 2019 season fading to black, CP folks left quickly. It was a long trip home.
Folks do say a lot of things.

SECTIONAL NOTES: CP seniors Maggie Ballentine, Grace Frazier, Caitlyn Phillips and Mallory McMahon (plus junior catcher Zoie Rettig), who started Saturday against Leo, were also in the starting lineup when CP beat Avon 2-1 in the 2017 state championship game.

CP ‘s ‘Class of 2019’ was 30-2 in 2017, 25-7 last year and finishes at 84-14 over three seasons. That is not a school record.

CP was 86-6 from 2014 to 2016.

For Leo, the semistate was a triumph of massive proportions. The Lions won the 2014 Cass 3A state title, but on this day they defeated two of the state’s largest schools in Penn (enrollment 3,400) and Crown Point (enrollment 2,800).

Leo is actually a 3A-sized school. According to the IHSAA web site, they only have 965 students.

Leo’s 11-1 win over CP was the 13th time they had won by 10 or more runs in the 2019 season. Leo’s only regular season loss was 2-1 to Bellmont. The Lions lost the 4A state championship game 1-0 to Center Grove. Leo had just four seniors on the roster and they return seven starters in 2020.

Marist (36-3), which topped Crown Point 6-2 on April 8, lost 3-2 to Huntley, Illinois (34-7) on June 6 in the semifinals of the Illinois Class 4A state tournament.

New Palestine (29-3), a 5-2 loser at Crown Point on May 11 won their third consecutive Class 3A state championship on June 8 with a 10-0 win over Yorktown.

When the Indiana softball season ended, (Stevensville) Lakeshore (31-10) was still alive in the quarterfinals of Michigan’s Division II (they have four divisions) state tournament. Crown Point defeated Lakeshore 9-1 on April 20.

Crown Point defeated Fishers 9-2 in the semistate semifinal at Harrison Saturday. Maggie Ballentine was 3-for-3 and her two-run double in the fourth inning gave CP a 4-0 lead. Junior catcher Zoie Rettig was 3-for-4 and her third inning RBI single upped the lead to 5-0.

Mallory McMahon led off the fifth inning with her fourth home run of the year to give the Bulldogs a 6-2 lead.

2019 (4A) Crown Point (29-5)
25-6 (2018), 30-2 (2017), 28-2 (2016), 29-3 (2015), 29-1 (2014)
All DAC games in CAPS

3-27 (W) 10-0 PORTAGE (7-19)
4-2 (W) 6-4 at CHESTERTON (21-6-1)
4-3 (L) 2-6 at 4A No. 1 LAKE CENTRAL (26-4)
4-4 (L) 0-3 Munster (25-7)
4-8 (L) 2-6 (Chicago) Marist (33-2)
4-9 (W) 20-0 (5 inn.) MICHIGAN CITY
4-10 (W) 15-3 (5 inn.) LaPORTE
4-13 (W) 10-6 at Harrison (19-6)
4-13 (W) 4-2 at Harrison (19-6)

4-16 (W) 12-0 (5 inn.) at VALPARAISO (12-10)
4-17 (W) 12-0 (5 inn.) MERRILLVILLE

Lakeshore (Michigan) Invitational
4-20 (W) 7-2 Edwardsburg, Mich. (28-9)
4-20 (W) 9-1 (Stevensville, Mich.) Lakeshore (27-10)
4-20 (W) 11-1 (6 inn.) Caledonia, Mich (21-10)

4-23 (W) 13-2 (5 inn.) at PORTAGE (7-19)
4-24 (W) 3-2 CHESTERTON (21-6-1)
4-25 (W) 7-3 at Penn (21-6)
4-30 (Rain) 4A No. 1 LAKE CENTRAL (26-4)
5-1 (Rain) at MICHIGAN CITY
5-4 (W) 6-0 Boone Grove (20-6)
5-4 (W) 8-1 Boone Grove (20-6)
5-6 (L) 0-1 Lake Central (26-4)
5-7 (W) 13-0 (5 inn.) at LaPorte (16-11)
5-8 (W) 11-0 VALPARAISO (12-10)
5-9 (W) 13-0 LaPORTE (16-11)
5-11 (W) 3-2 Carmel (13-9)
5-11 (W) 5-2 (3A) No. 1 New Palestine (27-3)

5-13 (W) 10-0 (5 inn.) Highland
5-14 (W) 11-0 (5 inn.) at MERRILLVILLE
5-15 (W) 9-2 Lowell (16-10)

4A Sectional 1 (at LC)
5-21 (W) 4-0 Kankakee Valley (14-14)
5-22 (W) 3-1 Munster (25-7)
5-23 (W) 2-0 Lake Central (26-4)

4A Regional

5-28 (W) 2-0 at Chesterton (21-7-1)

4A Semistate at Lafayette Harrison
6-1 (W) 9-2 Fishers (17-10)
6-1 (L) 1-11 Leo (25-2)