WEST LAFAYETTE – It was a storybook ending for Bremen Saturday afternoon.
Rylee Hershberger, the subject of a touching recent story involving her dad, Jon, and his fight with cancer, capped an unbelievable season with a two-run double to lift Bremen to a 2-1 win over Tecumseh in the IHSAA Class 2-A Softball Championship.
The win, Bremen’s first-ever softball championship, saw the Lions (29-2) avenge a loss in last year’s state finals and end its fantastic season on a 17-game win streak.
Kaelyn Shively gave up just three hits and a first-inning run in the complete game win.
Bremen, trailing 1-0 in the fifth, came to life after Caitlyn Myers led off the inning with a single. Hannah Rowe would reach on an error, opening the door for Hershberger’s heroics. Her drive to left field skipped over the Tecumseh fielder’s glove, allowing both Bremen runners to score to change the tide in the Lions’ favor.
The title is the first for coach Mike Huppert, who guided Bremen to the title game in 2008 as well as the last two years.
Shively was named the Mental Attitude Award winner after the championship game.
Also going on at Purdue, Indianapolis Lutheran won its third state title by knocking off Pioneer, 4-1, in the Class 1-A final. Makenzie Robinson knocked in Pioneer’s only run in the sixth to tie the game at one, but Lutheran responded with three runs in the top of the seventh to escape with the title.
In the Class 3-A final, New Palestine ran away from Yorktown, 10-0, scoring six runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh to win its third straight softball championship. Emily O’Connor doubled, tripled and drove in three to lead the winners.
In the nightcap, Center Grove won a state record seventh championship by pushing past Leo, 1-0. Abby Herbst struck out 12 for Center Grove in the shutout.
In the IHSAA Baseball Semi-states, Mishawaka was the final area team left and saw its season end in a 4-2 loss to Hamilton Southeastern at Plymouth. Nick Bodle and AJ Rosebush had seventh-inning RBIs for the Cavemen, but too little too late as Mishawaka closes at 25-7.
Hamilton Southeastern 4, Mishawaka 2
Columbus East 10, Avon 3
4-A Championship: Hamilton Southeastern v. Columbus East
Andrean 5, Yorktown 0
Edgewood 2, Silver Creek 1
3-A Championship: Andrean v. Edgewood
Alexandria 9, Whiting 0
Southridge 7, South Vermillion 0
2-A Championship: Alexandria v. Southridge
Washington Township 13, Rossville 8
University 4, Tecumseh 1
1-A Championship: Washington Township v. University