The Penn softball team punched its ticket to the State Finals with an exclamation point Monday night.
The No. 2 Kingsmen blasted Munster 10-0 in six innings in the championship game of the Class 4-A Lafayette Harrison Semistate.
Penn, now 26-3, will face Avon (25-5) on Saturday in the state title game at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis at 7:30 p.m. The Kingsmen will be shooting for the second state championship in program history after winning the Class 3-A crown in 1999 with a 15-inning win over Decatur Central.
Penn won a pair of games Monday in the semistate, which began on Saturday but then was suspended due to rain.
The Kingsmen, who were in the semistate for the third straight year, wasted no time in the title game. Penn scored six runs in the first inning and cruised from there.
Star pitcher Danielle Watson continued her brilliance in the circle for coach Beth Zachary’s team. The hard-throwing junior, who has committed to Louisville, allowed just one hit while striking out 12. Watson is now 21-2 on the season and has a consecutive scoreless innings streak of 33 straight.
Senior Addie Pixley had two hits and drove in three to lead the Penn offense in the championship game. Seniors Halle Hixenbaugh and Alyssa Griman each had a pair of doubles for the Kingsmen.
Penn topped Zionsville 1-0 earlier Monday in the completion of their semifinal game, which began on Saturday. Watson fired a two-hitter with a dozen punchouts in the win. The Kingsmen scored in the sixth inning as an RBI single by Griman scored Hixenbaugh. Hixenbaugh and junior Katie Quinlan each had two hits.
Penn boasts a roster with five seniors and a total of seven players who have committed or signed to play Division I softball at the collegiate level. Watson and junior Maddy Newman have committed to Louisville, while Quinlan (Michigan State), Hixenbaugh (Boston College), Pixley (Valparaiso), Griman (Illinois-Chicago) and senior Olivia Magaldi (Wisconsin-Green Bay) are also Division I recruits.
Mishawaka Marian saw its season end with a 12-5 loss Monday night to Kankakee Valley in the title game of the Class 3-A softball semistate at Twin Lakes.
Kankakee Valley, which beat Fairfield on Saturday in a semifinal game, advances to play Lebanon on Saturday for the Class 3-A state title at Ben Davis High School at 4:30 p.m.
Lizzie Bollinger had a home run to lead Marian, which finishes at 23-8, in the title game.
Marian advanced to the title game by beating Hamilton Heights 4-1 in eight innings in a semifinal game earlier on Monday. That game had been postponed due to rain on Saturday. Megan Riba smacked a two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning to give the Knights the lead. Winning pitcher Brooke Stoltz had 14 strikeouts for the Knights.