ELKHART – The Concord softball program ended a long drought Friday night.
The Minutemen used an impressive performance to win its first sectional championship in 27 years.
Concord’s RaeAnn Miller pitched her team past No. 4 Northridge 4-2 in the title tilt of the Class 4-A Elkhart Central Sectional.
The victory gives Concord its first softball sectional crown since 1987. The Minutemen lost 5-0 to Northridge in the sectional final in 2013.
Coach Dawn Austin’s team improves to 21-8 on the season and advances to the one-game regional at No. 3 Penn (25-4) Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Penn defeated South Bend Clay 12-2 in five innings Friday night to win the Mishawaka Sectional title. Penn topped Concord 13-2 during a regular-season meeting.
Miller, a righthanded junior, allowed just four hits in sidelining the two-time defending sectional champion Raiders. She struck out six and walked four to improve to 14-6 in the circle this spring.
Concord came into the game knowing they could beat the Raiders. The pair of Northern Lakes Conference foes split their two games during the regular season with Concord claiming a 3-1 win on May 12 behind an outstanding game from Miller.
The Minutemen, in their second season under Austin, wasted no time in taking control. Concord scored a run in the first inning on an RBI double by Sabrina Scherer and made it 2-0 in the second frame on an RBI single by McKenzie Loge.
Senior Haley Nixon had an RBI single in the fourth for the Raiders to cut the lead to 2-1. Concord, which outhit the Raiders 7-4, scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Senior ace Nixon took the loss for Northridge. She allowed seven hits, while striking out three and walking one. The Indiana Wesleyan bound right-hander went 23-3 this season for coach Bo O’Dell’s team.
The trio of Olivia Hess, Loge and Scherer each had two hits to lead the offense for the champions.
Nixon had a hit and two RBI for the Raiders.
Northridge, which advanced to the semi state each of the last two years, finishes at 25-3.