By Corey B. Elliot
The Tri-West Bruins advanced to tomorrow night’s sectional championship after defeating the Beech Grove Hornets 8-3 behind the bat of Kristy Rawlings. Rawlings had an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth inning that tied the game at two and followed up on her next trip to the plate with a 2 RBI triple that put the Hornets away for good.
Rawlings wasn’t the only Bruin that found her rhythm at the plate.
Lizzie Meyer, Kaitlyn Settlemoir and Marita Vandyke all contributed with RBI as well, continuing a season-long trend of good hitting for Tri-West.
“We’ve hit the ball really well all year,” Tri-West coach Stacey Rogers said “That’s the one thing that can carry us through so hopefully we can continue to do that.”
The Bruins’ defense was up to the task as well.
Defense, as cliché as it may be, may have helped Tri-West more than anything last night. In the top of the fifth inning the Bruins led 3-2 with the Hornets up to bat.
With one out and the bases loaded, Beech Grove’s Kimberly White’ line drive was headed straight for the gap in left field when Settlemoir jumped up and picked off what was sure to be a go-ahead RBI hit for the Hornets. Settlemoir landed and fired to first base without hesitation, picking off the runner headed back from not tagging up and helped the Bruins out of a jam to retire the side.
“At that point in time that was a perfect catch and she knew where the runners were but that’s her job all the time,” Rogers said. “She definitely did her job. That was the turning point for us because it got everybody fired up.”
It didn’t just fire everyone up, it ignited an eruption of cheers from the Tri-West dugout and the momentum swung right back in favor of the Bruins.
But, there was no time to get caught up in the moment.
Tri-West will face Indian Creek tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in the sectional championship as the Braves will attempt to defend their home field. With less than 48 hours between winning last night’s second round match-up and squaring off for a sectional title, the Bruins will have to continue to produce at the plate.
“Our goal is to score every inning whether it’s one or whether it’s five,” Rogers said. “That’s what our goal is, to continue our momentum and carry it through, so hopefully we can get the job done on Thursday and bring home a sectional championship.”