WARSAW — Elkhart Central and Northridge both won their games Monday night in the Class 4A high school girls softball sectional at Warsaw.
Junior Brittany Vanderhoek singled three times and drove in a run for the Elkhart Central Blue Blazers in an 8-2 win over the Goshen Redskins in the first game. Junior Hannah Kistler doubled in two runs and junior Haley Nixon was the winning pitcher for the Northridge Raiders in a 7-2 win over the Elkhart Memorial Crimson Chargers in the nightcap.
“It’s hard to play a team for the third time,” Northridge coach Bo O’Dell said about facing another member of the NLC. “By that time the other team knows what Haley (Nixon) throws and how we are going to defend them.”
The two teams played last week and the Raiders were 16-1 winners.
“We knew Memorial would be more competitive,” O’Dell said. “We knew they would rise to the challenge.
“Considering all that I’m happy with the score tonight.”
The tournament continues on Wednesday with Central facing Northridge at 6 p.m. while Concord and Warsaw follow around 8.
The championship is slated for Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Junior Gretchen Hurtle pitched for Memorial. She struck out Northridge senior Madison Schrock to start the game and that is something no other pitcher had done all season to the veteran Raider. Hurtle also fanned Schrock in the third before Schrock slapped an RBI single in the fifth.
The Raiders scored two in the first as freshman Bailey O’Dell and senior Haley Schrock singled and scored on Kistler’s double.
Nixon struck out seven and walked one.
“Haley left some pitches out there,” O’Dell said. “That is the way the game goes. When we jump out to early leads we have to have everyone keep their focus. We need to make the plays at the end of the game.”