Softball: Key win has Dana Claussen, Hobart clicking on all cylinders
By Steve T. Gorches 314-3797 or firstname.lastname@example.org May 16, 2013 11:12PM
Senior Dana Claussen is photographed Wednesday May 15, 2013. Claussen is a pitcher for the Brickies softball team. | Stephanie Dowell~Post-Tribune
of the Week
She tossed a no-hitter in a 1-0 victory over Kankakee Valley on Wednesday. She had six strikeouts and one walk in the momentum-building win.
P-T Top 10
1. Lake Central; 2. Crown Point
3. Chesterton; 4. Munster;
5. Bishop Noll; 6. Portage;
7. Hebron; 8. Kankakee Valley;
9. Andrean; 10. Hobart
On the web
For softball statistics, visit
— Deputy sports editor
Steve T. Gorches
Updated: June 18, 2013 8:29AM
HOBART — Sometimes all it takes is one well-played victory to get a team going, know matter what the sport.
In high school softball, that could be a 1-0 win in which pitching, defense and timely hitting all come together in the perfect storm of execution.
That’s exactly what happened with Hobart’s softball team on Saturday when the Brickies edged one of the top teams in the region in Crown Point. It was a 1-0 gem pitched by Dana Claussen, and a confidence booster for players who have been hearing how good they are from fifth-year coach Katrina Lucas.
“I’ve been telling them all season they could do that,” Lucas said of her squad that has improved its record to 14-10, as of Wednesday night, headed into a very tough Sectional 2 bracket. “I told them there’s a lot of individual talent on this team and we’re just waiting for the team to jell together. I knew they could be this good.”
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Brickies — hence, the record just above .500 — but not dominating.
“We’ve had wins with great defense but not much offense, then we’ll have a game with OK offense and bad defense,” Claussen said. “Against Crown Point both came through. Softball is a game where anyone can win on a given day.”
That philosophical insight by Hobart’s No. 1 pitcher doesn’t give her team enough credit. Yes, it’s true, but the Brickies didn’t get lucky as much as they put all aspects of their game together for one day. In fact, they’ve only been shut out once during a tough schedule (4-0 loss to Portage).
The win over Crown Point that carried over into this week (wins over Lake Station, River Forest and Highland) isn’t the only one for Hobart this season. There have also been victories over Lowell and Hebron, but the CP win has a little more meaning since the two teams are in the same sectional that starts Monday.
“After Crown Point, we know if we keep playing that way we can do well (in the sectional),” Claussen said.
Claussen appears to be the epitome of Hobart’s team. She’s not imposing in the circle, but the stats show she’s very effective and packs punch. The University of St. Francis (Fort Wayne) recruit has a record of 10-6 with an earned run average of 1.53. She also has 108 strikeouts in 109 innings. She’s also a good hitter with a .294 batting average, three home runs and 15 RBI.
She’ll tell you she gets her softball acumen from her older sisters — Hollie and Brittany, who both played softball at Hobart — but they would say different.
“My parents and sisters raised me to be humble,” Claussen said. “I don’t like to admit it, but they (her sisters) have told me I’m better than they were. I try to be confident, but remain humble.”
Big things come in small packages. That applies to Claussen at 5-foot-3, and it also applies to Hobart, a team that hasn’t won a sectional title since 1988 in a bracket filled with perennial contenders. But one big win last Saturday changes everything in their eyes, especially when the Brickies are on one side of the draw while Crown Point, Chesterton and Portage are beating each other up on the other side.
“We were pretty excited about the draw and knew even before we beat Crown Point that we could see them again,” Lucas said.
One well-played victory over one of the sectional favorites can change expectations.