FORT WAYNE – One inning was enough for Bishop Dwenger in a matchup against defending Class A state champion Lakewood Park on Tuesday.
The Saints scored all their runs in the third inning and finally broke through against a ranked opponent in a 4-1 home win over the No. 1 Panthers.
Dwenger got all of its runs with two outs, highlighted by Demetra Burns’ two-run single to help erase a 1-0 Lakewood Park lead. Amanda Miller, Sierra Fisher, Kristina Burkhardt and Erica Miller scored for the 3A No. 16 Saints.
Sometimes one inning is all it takes, Lakewood Park coach Dave Carnahan said.
Dwenger (6-2) had previously lost to 3A No. 6 Woodlan and 4A No. 6 Huntington North.
We struggled against Woodlan’s and Huntington North’s pitching, and we didn’t look too good the first time through the lineup here, Dwenger coach Dave Moyer said. They hung tough, and we got ourselves out of a few jams. We made some nice plays out there in the field. We just did everything we had to do to win this one. (Beating Lakewood Park) helps them with their confidence. They know now they can do it, rather than me or one of the coaches saying they can do it.
Saints starter Jordan Schneider held the Panthers to four hits. The junior was aided by some key defensive plays, including in the fourth when Dwenger threw out Lakewood Park runners at the plate and at second base.
I really rely on my defense during those times, Schneider said. I know they are always there to back me up. Even when they get some hits, I know my defense is going to go all out. I just try to keep them off-balance so they can’t string (hits) together.
And it really helps to have your offense scoring for you. It helps you go out there and relax as a pitcher. It helps the game flow more, and you can go out there and do your job without having to worry.
The Saints had only five hits against Panthers starter Mikeila Boroff, but they seemed to make them all count.
I think they are used to (Boroff) striking out two batters an inning, and we were putting the ball in play, maybe that got to them, Moyer said.
Lakewood Park (10-2) has lost two in a row, falling to Huntington North 3-0 in 11 innings Monday.
It was another tough night, Carnahan said. We know one run is not going to do it. We are aware of that. We have to come out every night and be sharp. Give (Dwenger) credit, they came out and made the plays.