LNORA — The weather couldn’t have lined up better with the wishes of Hauser softball coach Craig Sims on Saturday if he had been controlling it himself.
The storms slated to roll over the North Daviess Semistate held off just long enough for the Class A No. 1 Jets to finish a 3-1 victory against No. 2 North Central (Farmersburg) in the day’s second semifinal game — and they dropped just enough rain during the afternoon to force the postponement of the title game.
Now, instead of having to turn around and face No. 5 Borden on just four hours of rest, Hauser will have a chance to regroup before a Monday evening meeting with the Braves, who topped No. 4 Tecumseh by the same 3-1 score in the first game of the day.
Sophomore pitcher Tessa Sims struck out 10 and allowed just two baserunners in leading the Jets (26-0) to their 35th victory in a row.
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“I was pitching a lot slower than I normally do,” she said, “but I think the movement on the ball still threw them off a little bit.”
Hauser got all the offense it needed in the top of the third, getting a rally started when a seemingly harmless one-out pop fly off the bat of Leslie Sims got caught in the breeze and dropped in for a double.
Leslie Sims stole third, and after Tessa Sims walked and stole second, Hailey Lange and Sidney Giles brought them in with consecutive fielder’s choice bunts, both perfectly placed just out in front of home plate, to make it a 2-0 game.
Using small ball to create runs is something the Jets have proven quite adept at, and it’s a necessary skill at this time of year.
“I feel like that’s how we have to win every game from here moving forward,” Craig Sims said. “You just can’t bank on putting two, three hits together in an inning to score a run. You’ve got to manufacture a run, and that’s what we did there.”
North Central got one run back in the bottom of the fifth inning when Mia McCoskey led off with a bloop single over first base, took second on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a throwing error.
The Jets got that run back in the top of the seventh. Kali Schumacher and Taylor Henderson collected one-out hits and Lauryn Starnes reached on an error to load the bases for Leslie Sims, who drew a walk to force Schumacher in and make it 3-1.
That was more than enough of a cushion for Tessa Sims, who retired the Thunderbirds in order in the sixth and seventh.
“She did a good job of locating and hitting her spots,” Craig Sims said. “She makes it hard for teams to score, and she takes a lot of pressure off of our defense.”
Borden’s junior hurler Paige Schindler, who awaits the Jets on Monday, has been just as stingy. The earned run she allowed against Tecumseh was just the third that the Louisville commit has allowed this season.
She’ll be seeking a reversal of fortune against Hauser, which handed Schindler and Borden a 2-0 defeat in a semistate semifinal en route to the Class A state crown last spring.
Two more wins, and the Jets will reign again.
Class A softball semistate
No. 1 Hauser vs. No. 5 Borden
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: North Daviess High School