St. John, IN – Munster and Crown Point squared off in the Lake Central sectional semifinal yesterday evening. Runs were tough to come by as both teams pitchers kept the bats silent. Munster went with their dominant junior, Emily Dato. While Crown Point gave Munster three different looks in the circle, using Brinkley Kita, Madi Young, and Madi Elish. Offensively, Caitlyn Phillips led the way for Crown Point collecting all three of their hits and scoring twice.
Crown Point started the game off with a single from Caitlyn Phillips; the ball spun awkwardly in the turf past the left fielder allowing Phillips to advance to third. With a 2-2 count, a ball squirted a few feet away from the catcher and Phillips would get in under a diving tag from Hailey Sullivan. Crown Point would take an early 1-0 lead.
Munster would tie the game up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Daija Williams was walked and then advanced to second on a bunt. Williams would later go on to steal third base, and Hailey Sullivan would drive her in with a hard groundball single to second.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Caitlyn Phillips once again started things off for the Bulldogs with a single and later stealing second base. Crown Point would load the bases, and Maggie Ballentine would show great patience at the plate as she drew a walk to take the lead. A batter later, Madi Young added an insurance run as she hit a sac fly to center scoring Madi Elish.
The Munster bats could not get going as Crown Point used Brinkley Kita, Madi Young, and Madi Elish to keep the Mustangs off balanced and uncomfortable. The Bulldogs went with Kita for two innings allowing zero runs and striking out three, Madi Young also for two innings allowing one run and striking out one, and Madi Elish finished off the final three innings striking out five and allowing no runs.
Crown Point advances to take on Lake Central tonight at 5 pm for the sectional title.
Caitlyn Phillips: 3-3, 2 R, 2 SB
Maggie Ballentine: 0-2, RBI, BB
Madi Young: 0-2, RBI, BB; 2 IP, 2 H
Brinkley Kita: 2 IP, 0 ER, 3 K
Madi Elish: 3 IP, 0 ER, 5 K
Paige Vukadinovich: 1-3, 2B
Hailey Sullivan: 1-3, RBI
Holly Kaim: 1-3
Sam Sellers: 1-2, BB
Emily Dato: 6 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 9 K