ELKHART – It will be an All-Northern Lakes Conference final in the Elkhart Softball Sectional.
Goshen and Concord saw to that with semifinal wins in the Class 4-A tourney at Elkhart Memorial Wednesday night.
Goshen opened the evening by crushing Elkhart Central 13-1 in six innings. Concord capped the night by downing defending sectional champion Northridge 6-4.
Goshen (14-12) meets Concord (22-4) back at Memorial Friday at 6 p.m. in the sectional finale.
The winner advances to play at the winner of the South Bend Sectional in a one-game regional on Tuesday night. No. 10 ranked Penn (19-6) will play LaPorte (21-9) in the title game at South Bend’s LaSalle Academy on Saturday at noon. Penn defeated South Bend Adams 12-0 and LaPorte topped Mishawaka 11-1 in semifinal action Wednesday night in South Bend. The Kingsmen have won four straight sectional championships.
Concord beat Goshen twice, 7-1 and 11-8, during regular-season NLC action.
Goshen got going right away to best the Blue Blazers. Coach Brent Kulp’s team scored four runs in the top of the first inning as all nine batters got to hit for the RedHawks. Goshen finished out the game by scoring five runs in the sixth frame to end the contest.
The RedHawks, who had just two hits in a 3-2 win over Elkhart Memorial in a first-round game Tuesday night, had nine hits in beating Central, which beat Warsaw 2-0 Tuesday night. Grace Vance and Alexis Navarro each had a pair of hits to lead the way. Elkah DeVoe had three RBIs and Breanna Boocher two for the winners.
Freshman Brynn Shoup-Hill got the pitching win for the second straight night as she allowed just three hits.
Goshen, which lost to Central 7-5 during the season, will play in the sectional final for the second straight year.
Concord won the third and most important meeting of the season versus the Raiders in the nightcap Wednesday.
Coach Dawn Austin’s team scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out the 6-4 win. Alexis Kern and Mayla Herman each had an RBI single in the frame.
Concord went up 1-0 in the first on an RBI single off the bat of Alysa Marin. The Raiders took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run double by Ashley Becker. Marin singled in a run in the third to tie it at 2-2 before Northridge took a 4-2 lead with a pair of tallies in the fourth.
Concord had lost 9-0 back on May 7 at Northridge. Allison Hostetler of the Raiders, who took the loss Wednesday night, threw a no-hitter in that game. Concord beat the Raiders 3-2 earlier in the season as the two shared the NLC title at 13-1 in league play.
Kern notched the pitching win for the Minutemen.
Northridge finishes its season at 17-5.