ELNORA — The Tecumseh Braves entered Tuesday looking for their eighth straight regional title, but North Daviess had other ideas.
The Cougars (16-11) jumped on the Braves (17-11) immediately on their way to a 7-2 victory to clinch a berth in Saturday's softball semistate in Elnora and their 16th win in the last 21 games.
North Daviess starter Tailon Graber continued her postseason dominance with her third straight complete game. Graber worked around a two-out walk in the first, and the North Daviess offense went to work. Leadoff hitter Taylor Swartzentruber struck out looking, but the Cougars reeled off seven hits in their next 10 at-bats to go with a walk, fielders choice and a hit by pitch.
North Daviess scored seven runs on seven hits off Tecumseh starting pitcher Tiffany Summers. The rally included a two-run single from sophomore Sarah Fitzgerald and RBI hits from Swartzentruber, Morgan Wadsworth, Kristi Swartzentruber, Brooke Lindy, and Kayla Knepp.
"These girls don't know how to die," said North Daviess coach Jodi Berry. "We were 1-7 and senior leadership was doing this tonight."
It was evident in the first inning that the North Daviess strategy would be to make Summers work and the plan worked perfectly. Tecumseh's senior pitcher threw 42 pitches in the first inning and topped 100 in her six innings. Summers didn't allow a run the rest of the game and only three hits, but the damage was more than enough.
"We said the only way we're going to win is if we swing the bats," Berry said. "Our motto has been, there are going to be hits, there are going to be runs, but we just have to do more. We came out and attacked and again we didn't hit the cover off the ball, but you put the ball in play and good things happen."