By Dennis Glade
Washington Times Herald
MONTGOMERY — The Barr-Reeve softball team has had an up and down season, but they are playing the best ball of the season at the right time.
The Vikings won the Class A Sectional 63 at North Daviess this past Tuesday evening with an 11-0 victory over arch rival Loogootee to give Barr-Reeve its first sectional title since 2004. The Vikings will play at Tecumseh Tuesday in the Regional semifinals.
Barr-Reeve had a difficult season at times, which included losing some close games due to mental mistakes and then came the Vikings unprecedented run to the sectional title.
To even get to Tuesday’s championship game, Barr-Reeve had to beat the sectional host North Daviess (20-8) on its home field.
A win that was made possible by sophomore Molly Wallace’s clutch late inning solo home run.
“We knew we could compete with North Daviess, it was a 3-0 game in the regular season,” said Barr-Reeve coach Darren Kenney. “The Loogootee game really pumped up our confidence and we hope to continue that momentum into the regional.”
Barr-Reeve will face a tough test in the rematch against Tecumseh. The Vikings lost at Tecumseh 4-0 in a game they struck out 14 times against Braves’ starter Tiffany Summers.
Kenney said his team will have to focus in on making contact if the Vikings want to reverse the result and advance to Saturday’s regional championship game at North Daviess.
“Summers throws around 60 MPH, and we struck out 14 times ¬several of them looking,” Kenney said. “Since that game our bats have come alive. She doesn’t have a lot of off speed stuff, so if we can get our timing down, which we’ll work on every day until Tuesday and hopefully we’ll get our timing down.”
Kenney said he hadn’t yet made a decision on who would start Tuesday’s game, but he wouldn’t rule out junior Elaina Kavanugh, who started both the first game at Tecumseh and the championship game against Loogootee.
Kavanaugh pitched a complete game shutout against the Lions, but earlier this month against the Braves she allowed four runs, but three of them were unearned.
The late season run for the Vikings gives some of the Barr-Reeve girls an opportunity to make amends for disappointing finishes to fall and winter sports.
“Some of these girls - it didn’t work out quite as well as they expected it to in volleyball and basketball, the majority of the girls are pumped up,” Kenney said. “I’m excited for the seniors - Tanisha (Graber), Alexis (Chestnut) and Molleigh Doyle. They have an opportunity to win a sectional, and go ahead to the regional.”
With a tough matchup against history-laden program like Tecumseh, Kenney said the Vikings just need to focus on their game and keep their eye on what they need to do.
“There’s no doubt we’re playing our best ball,” Kenney said. “Our confidence level is high - if they’re just aggressive and relaxed, I think we’ll be just fine.”