RISING SUN — Hauser softball coach Craig Sims was right in saying that it was a different Jac-Cen-Del team he faced earlier in the season.
The hitting of Sidney Giles and the pitching of Tessa Sims put his worries to rest.
Giles smacked a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning that proved to be the difference as the Jets prevailed 3-0 in Tuesday night’s Rising Sun Sectional semifinal match.
Hauser, the top-ranked team in Class A, will face third-ranked Rising Sun, which defeated Shawe Memorial in the second semifinal game. The sectional final is set for 6 p.m. Thursday.
Giles, who initially was supposed to bunt on the play, mishit the bunt for Strike 2. On the next pitch, Craig Sims gave Giles the green light to swing away. It paid off.
“Hitting in general the past few games has not been the greatest for me,” Giles said, “but I was glad to get out of a slump.”
The game was closer than what the final score indicated, as each team got just two hits. Giles said that this game was a huge wake-up call.
“(Jac-Cen-Del) hit the ball much better but luckily they mishit the ball several times,” she said. “Tessa did a great job getting ahead in the count and hitting her spots and doing what she needed to do to help us win.”
Jac-Cen-Del’s best chance at a comeback was in the top of the fifth inning. The Eagles had runners on first and second with one out, but Tessa Sims was able to strike out the next two batters to end the threat.
Tessa Sims, who was ill the past few days, recorded 15 strikeouts to earn the victory.
“It was pretty hard to stay concentrated,” Tessa Sims said. “But when they did make contact, the defense was there to help me out.”
Tessa Sims has a couple days to rest and recuperate, and she said she will need all of her energy come Thursday.
“It’s going to be our toughest challenge so far,” she said. “If we make a mistake against (Rising Sun), they will make us pay. They are a great team and it’s going to be a close game, and we all need to bring our ‘A’ game Thursday.”
Abby Kidwell recorded the other hit for the Jets. They also struck out six times in the game.