Bulldogs lose 4-2 to Cascade in 2A championship


WEST LAFAYETTE — The historic season for the Lapel softball team came to an end on Friday evening in the final and biggest game of the year.

In the IHSAA Class 2A State Championship, the No. 6 Bulldogs fell 4-2 to No. 1 Cascade at Purdue University’s Bittinger Stadium.

The loss brought a conclusion to the best season in program history.

Lapel, who ended the year 24-6, won Madison County, sectional, regional and semistate titles. All but the sectional title were firsts in team history, and only three of the six losses came to 2A schools.

All were in close games.

On March 26, Lapel fell 8-7 to Frankton, but would later get revenge in the county tournament and the sectional, and on May 3, lost 2-1 to Eastern Hancock.

The final of the three 2A losses was the close one to Cascade on Friday night.

A two-run top of the first inning by the Cadets had the Bulldogs chasing from behind all game.

Tara Gruca drew a one-out walk and Ava Allen doubled to left field before a Lacie Godby single drove them both in to put Lapel behind 2-0.

The deficit grew to 4-0 by the end of the fourth inning. In the third, Gracie Gray doubled, stole third and came into score on a passed ball, and in the fourth, Adie Paschal doubled and scored on a Caitlin Gryszowka pinch-hit single.

While the Cadets grew their lead in the top half of innings, in the bottom half, the Bulldogs had trouble against their starting pitcher, Gray.

The junior was perfect through three innings and didn’t allow a hit until the sixth.

In the second inning she struck out the side, and after one time through the Lapel lineup, had sent down six batters on strikes.

Lapel got their first base runners of the day in the fourth on Tatum Harper and Paige Stires walks, but Gray struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

In the fifth, Addison Bodenhorn was hit by a pitch for the third base runner of the night for the Bulldogs, but was stranded on base.

Sparked by the team’s lone senior, Krystin Davis, Lapel broke into the hit column and onto the scoreboard in the sixth inning.

Davis kickstarted the inning with a bunt single to end the no-hitter, and Harper walked for the second time before a Stires sacrifice fly moved both into scoring position with just one out.

A Laylah Gore RBI single brought in Davis for the first Lapel run, and Harper crossed the plate after a Cascade throwing error to halve the Cadets lead.

With the tying run at the plate and only one out, Gray struck out two more batters to end the frame and move her total to 11 punchouts on the night.

With two more strikeouts in the seventh, she sent Lapel down in order to end the game.

She ended the night allowing two hits and one earned run while striking out 13 across seven innings of work.

While she threw a complete game for the Cadets, Lapel used a trio of pitchers just like they have all season long.

Karlie Jannings got the start and pitched the opening two innings before being relieved in the third. After the two-run first, she sent down Cascade in order in the second, but after the first two batters of the third inning reached base, she gave way to Bodenhorn in the circle.

She escaped the third allowing just one runner to score, and pitched the fourth and fifth innings, giving up three hits and letting one more run score.

The final two innings were thrown by Ava Zdanowski. She walked one in the sixth and sent the Cadets down in order in the seventh.

Offensively, Davis, who received the Mental Attitude Award after the game, was 1-for-3 with a run scored to end her high school career.

Harper walked twice and scored the other run, and Gore had the Bulldogs only other hit and their lone RBI.

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