INDIANAPOLIS – The Lakewood Park players poured onto the field at Ben Davis to celebrate another Class A softball state championship – only to be told the game wasn’t over.
The Panthers led by 10 runs in the sixth inning, but the IHSAA doesn’t have a mercy rule for the state finals.
But it was only a momentary interruption of the celebration as Lakewood Park finished off Tecumseh a half an inning later in a 10-3 decision Saturday.
We scored that 10th run, and we were like, We won the game,’ Lakewood Park junior catcher Jaclyn Delagrange said. We ran out there, but they said we can’t 10-run. At first, we had to get refocused because we had been celebrating.
It was the Panthers’ second straight state championship in their third consecutive trip to the state finals. Lakewood Park will move up to play in Class 2A next season because of the IHSAA’s success factor.
It’s not something that happens very often in sports at any level, and they were just hungry and had a great passion to do that, Lakewood Park coach Dave Carnahan said of back-to-back titles. They set some goals, and they committed themselves to them and stayed hungry all season long. Just to be poised enough and hungry enough to work this hard and pull it off, they are just a tremendous team.
Top-ranked Lakewood Park (29-2) also won the 2012 title in a 3-2 decision over Indianapolis Lutheran.
We are just a truly blessed team, Lakewood Park junior pitcher Mikeila Boroff said. It was a goal to go back-to-back, but we knew it wasn’t going to be handed to us. It made us work hard, and girls really bought into it and did their part.
Lakewood Park had outscored seven postseason opponents 82-0 (the first six 72-0) before the Braves scored three in the top of the seventh.
It is disappointing, but we won state, and I wouldn’t change anything about it, Delagrange said. Yeah, we didn’t get the zero runs scored against us, but I am proud of our team.
Third-ranked Tecumseh (21-8) beat the Panthers in the 2011 state title game. The Braves also won the 2009 state title.
We really wanted that, Boroff said of playing the Braves again. When we found out we were playing them, every single one of us got super excited, and we knew redemption day was coming.
Boroff gave up six hits and struck out six but walked four. She went 2 for 4 with an RBI at the plate.
On offense, Suzanne Grimm and Brooke Herendeen were each 2 for 4 with two RBI.
Boroff’s single in the sixth to score Brittan Carnahan gave Lakewood Park a 10-0 lead.
It wasn’t a goal all postseason long to finish with no runs given up, but obviously when you have the game in hand at the end they wanted it, Dave Carnahan said. It was kind of anticlimactic, and they had to get over it.
Lakewood Park scored three runs in the first inning on doubles by Grimm (two RBI) and Delagrange.
The Panthers pushed the margin to 5-0 with two runs in the fourth and then scored four in the fifth to go up 9-0.
We came prepared, and we were definitely confident in our hitting, Grimm said.