CP softball ready to rebound from tough end to the season
By Anthony Nasella Star correspondent June 18, 2013 11:48AM
Crown Point secondbaseman Rachael Honaker makes a nice backhanded stop on a ball but was unable to get ther runner at first on a third-inning play of the Bulldogs sectional game against Chesterton Monday May 20, 2013. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 19, 2013 1:42PM
It’s not always a given that a team shows the willingness to rally behind a freshman starting pitcher.
But when the team’s freshman starting pitcher goes 17-1, the way Miranda Elish did this season for Crown Point softball, the motivation that came from her teammates was not very hard to muster up.
Behind Elish, the Bulldogs racked up a 25-5 record and captured the Duneland Conference title with a 12-2 mark — defeating every team in the conference at least once. And though they were denied a sectional title, dropping a heartbreaker to eventual state champion Portage, the team’s future is definitely bright.
“Our girls came out of the gate strong and rallied behind our freshman pitcher who had a lot of heart on the mound,” Crown Point head coach Ginger Britton said. “They supported and backed her up offensively.
“We had a little unfortunate end, but we had a lot of success in the DAC and very thrilled to have won the conference. They played really well together in both conference and non-conference games.”
Over the course of the season, the Bulldogs won the Twin Lakes Tournament, which featured an array of talented teams from the region and beyond. And with a competitive conference that includes solid programs such as Lake Central, Chesterton and Portage, Crown Point was always being challenged — and mostly succeeded.
“We definitely have a very competitive conference, and we beat some great teams in conference,” Britton said. “And to only lose five games – we were happy about that.”
The team’s success this season mirrors the recent success of the program. This year’s squad scored 205 runs behind contributions from Elish, Mandy Schroeder and Courtney Holm. The team only gave up 40 runs as sophomore and first-year varsity player Rachael Honaker helped Elish as an infield stabilizer.
“We were 23-7 last year after posting a less-than-stellar record the year before,” Britton said. “Three years ago, we went 25-2, so this team is on par with our previous seasons. We had solid offense and solid defense behind Miranda. We’re losing five players — all starters — but I’m confident that players will step up next season for us.”