ELKHART – A pair of close ones were the case Monday night in opening round action of the Elkhart Central Softball Sectional.
Host Elkhart Central used a big dose of small ball to edge rival Memorial 2-1 in eight innings and Northridge blanked conference foe Concord 2-0 in first-round games of the Class 4-A tournament.
Central (11-17) will face Northridge (18-7) at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in a semifinal game. Warsaw will then meet Goshen in the second semifinal. The championship game is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. Central beat Northridge 4-1 during the regular season.
Central used the bunt to edge past the Crimson Chargers. Memorial led 1-0 until a bunt by Emily Grimes drove home the tying run for Central in their final at bat in the seventh inning. The hosts then had a walk, two more bunts and a grounder to shortstop to send home the winning run in the eighth frame.
Syd Ryan led Memorial with two doubles. The Chargers finish the year at 4-19.
Allison Hostetler fired a three-hitter to pitch Northridge into the semifinals. The sophomore also drove in a run for the Raiders.
Sara Troyer also had an RBI for Northridge and the Raider catcher also picked a pair of runners off first base in the win.
Northridge had beaten Concord 11-1 and 12-7 during the regular season.
Concord pitchers Alexis Kern and Karlie Myers allowed just three hits. Kern is a sophomore and Myers a freshman.
Concord finishes its season at 11-13.