Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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June 3, 2014

Bruins fall short in comeback

LIZTON — It wasn't an easy campaign for the Class 3A defending state softball champion Tri-West Bruins. In fact, it was a struggle at times trying to put a complete game together.

Still, Tri-West finished the year on a five-game win streak, including a third straight sectional title, en route to its regional matchup with West Vigo Tuesday night.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, West Vigo is now on a five-game streak at the Bruins’ expense, as the Vikings downed them 4-3 for the regional crown.

“We didn’t start off on fire to begin the season, or any individual game this season,” said Tri-West coach Stacey Rogers, whose team finished 13-10. “But we fought through the season and we came back and fought through this game, and very nearly came back in the end.”

Down 4-1 heading into the seventh inning and its season on the line, Tri-West responded. It was just too little, too late.

Marita VanDyke reached first on an overthrow, and ran to second on an error to open the seventh for the Bruins. Morgan Fouts drove courtesy runner Kristin Wethington in on a single with one out, and Tri-West pulled to within two runs.

Sydney Schrack doubled, and Fouts came home on a double throwing error by the Vikings to make it 4-3.

When Lacey Meyer popped out on a fly to right field, Schrack misjudged the hit and was unable to tag and reach home for the tying run. Lizzie Meyer flew  out to center to end the game, and Tri-West’s bid to defend its state title.

“We had our sights set on something high this year, and we got real close,” Rogers said.

Tri-West gave up two runs in the first inning, and one in both the fifth and sixth. West Vigo held the Bruins to three-up/three-down in the third, fourth and fifth.

“Our goal is to score every inning, and when we don’t get that done, it makes for a short game,” Rogers said. “I think we hit balls at (West Vigo) a lot and hit where they were.”

Tri-West loses state champion holdovers Schrack and Samme Miller, a senior duo Rogers said carried a lot of emotion and drive with them this season.

While Tri-West loses those two, it brings back the bulk of its squad next year. Rogers hopes the underclassmen can learn from Tuesday's game, and apply it not only to next season, but also the rest of their lives.

“I’m sure they can all look back about something and think they could have done that better,” Rogers said. “That’s a life lesson, and everybody can do that with lots of things, not just this team and not just softball.”

  Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @ JacobEThompson.

 

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