It’s been a long season of intense training and preparation for the region’s high school softball teams. Athletes from all around the area have put in countless hours of practice and drills, hoping to have their best performances when they took to the field at the IHSAA Sectional Championships.
Thursday evening, the Chesterton and Hobart softball teams battled it out at Chesterton High School, each fighting to move on to Regionals on May 28.
“The team has put in a lot of work together,” said Hobart Head Coach Steve Moss. “They’ve got good chemistry, and have kept their confidence throughout the season.”
Moss said the Brickies started the season strong, but fell into a bit of a rough patch heading into Sectionals.
“Going in we definitely knew we were the underdogs,” Moss continued. “We felt good about the game though. Our goal was to come in with a good attitude and have fun tonight.”
While the Brickies entered the game as underdogs, their fighting spirit never would have shown it. Hobart sophomore Hannah Camarena, Pitcher/Shortstop, exemplified the Brickies’ go get ‘em attitude, demonstrating the rock solid confidence the girls have been building on all season.
“I felt pretty confident,” Samarena said. “As pitcher, I wanted to really work the corners, get ahead in the count, and do my best.”
“The team has been really great,” Samarena continued. “I know our record hasn’t been the best, but everyone has remained confident throughout the season and kept super good attitudes.”
The Chesterton Trojans also went into the game ready to leave their mark, maintaining the focus they’ve had in every game of the season.
“It’s just like going in to every other game,” said Head Chesterton Coach Dan Lynch. “We just wanted to get focused, play hard, hopefully get a lead and just keep going with it.”
Like the Brickies, the Chesterton squad also had countless hours of good work ethic and dedication under their belts, chasing some lofty goals they set back in March.
“They’ve been working tremendously hard to reach their goals of going as far as they can in the tournament,” Lynch continued. “This is a great group of girls, and I believe they can manage to achieve that.”
Though both teams demonstrated great skill and sportsmanship, Chesterton came out on top, advancing to Regionals with a win of 10-0.
Though the Brickies were runners-up, they walked away proud of their efforts, embracing the experience of coming as far as they did.
“I don’t think we even expected to get here, but we did, and that’s really good,” said sophmore Saylem Smith, pitcher and center fielder. “It’s been a great year, everyone was so supportive. I really enjoyed it.”
As the final play of the game unfolded and the Chesterton fans broke into ecstatic cheers, the girls gathered on the infield to receive their trophy. The Trojans lived to play another day, and will continue to chase after their high set goals. Unsurprisingly, the girls were all smiles, but the moment was particularly special for seniors Lexi Benko and Marney Sisson.
“I felt spectacular today,” Sisson said. “Coming out here and winning three sectionals in a row is an amazing thing. That hasn’t happened at Chesterton High School before, so it was pretty amazing to be a part of something like that.”
Sisson contributed to the win with a blazing home run, helping to rack up the score and secure the win.
“My home run was definitely a highlight of the game for me,” Sisson said.
“It feels amazing to experience this and be moving on,” Benko added. “Regionals will be tough, but I think if we play at the top of our game, we can definitely pull off the win.”
Chesterton will take on the winner of the Lake Central Sectional on their home field next Tuesday evening. The game will begin at 6:00pm.