ELNORA - The Loogootee Lady Lion softball team ended its year at 20-5 on Saturday in the opening round of the North Daviess Semi-State. And although they had a tremendous season, they ended two games short of the ultimate prize at the IHSAA State Finals.
West Washington posted a 5-1 win over LHS, while limiting the normally offensive powerhouse Lions to just two hits on the day.
The Lady Lions were also slowed by five errors which proved to be a big factor throughout the game.
The game was also the final high school game for Lion seniors, Syd Davis, Calli Wininger and Tyanna Graber, a group that amassed 77 wins over their career.
"That's the way the system is, one bad day and you are done. I'm not making any excuses, we didn't play it clean, we didn't see the ball well and that is just part of it. You are going to have days like that," said LHS coach Greg Clark.
"With our seniors, one game does not define us as a program, and they have been tremendous. The rest of our girls will be back next spring and ready to attack softball again and it should be a lot of fun."
The Lady Senators put the Lions in a hole to start the game. Three hits, an error and a wild pitch staked West Washington a 3-0 lead after one inning. However, what was even worse was the loss of Lion second baseman Isabelle Waggner, who dislocated her elbow on a collision at first base and had to be taken to the hospital.
Senator Gracie Abels looked solid in her first two innings of work in the circle, allowing just one Lady Lion base runner.
West Washington added to its lead with two more runs off a double from Hayden Cress and two errors, to make it 5-0 halfway through the third.
WW's Taylor Foutch reached on the fourth Lion error of game, immediately followed by the fifth error on the next batter. However, a nice throw from Tyanna Graber cut down a runner at third and Maria Chestnut made a nice catch to keep the Senators from increasing its lead.
Davis again used a pair of strikeouts to get out of a scoring chance for West Washington in the top of the sixth.
After Davis walked in the bottom of the sixth, Graber broke up Abels' no-hitter. Adie Nolley followed with a single and Loogootee cut the lead to 5-1. However, Abel got the next three hitters, including a pair of strikeouts.
But it wasn't enough, as West Washington finished off the Lions in the bottom of the seventh for the 5-1 victory and a date with Lutheran in the championship.
Lutheran used a pair of Covenant Christian errors in the bottom of the seventh to come away with the 4-3 win, while then defeating West Washington in the championship, 4-1.
They will travel to Purdue on Saturday for the state finals.