PDT Sports Editor
PICKERINGTON — As Notre Dame coach J.D. McKenzie said after Thursday’s Division IV Regional Semifinal 11-1 win over Danville, everything from this game forward is history.
The 2012 edition of the Lady Titans became the first team in Notre Dame softball history to win a regional semifinal game.
“Each win is new territory and the girls are excited,” McKenzie said. “We don’t want to be satisfied. We want to keep going.”
If Notre Dame gets pitching performances like the one given Thursday by sophomore Tori Harr, the Lady Titans will not feel satisfied until they take home the state hardware. Harr went six innings, allowing only one unearned run and striking out seven Lady Blue Devils.
“Her change up and drop ball were working,” McKenzie said. “She pitched a heck of a game and I can’t be more proud of her. She went out there and threw a one-hitter.”
Danville grabbed the lead in the top of the first when Deanna Parker reached on an error and Olivia Rice drove her in with a double to right field.
Notre Dame bounced back in the bottom of the inning with Katie Stevenson and Madi Phillips scoring on a pair of throwing errors by Danville catcher Darci Lauderbaugh that both came during Sammie Marting’s first at-bat. Marting walked and Miranda Pauley hit a two-run home run that made it 4-1.
From there, Harr took over by using her change-up against the Lady Blue Devils.
Notre Dame added another run in the fifth when Brooke Pierron launched a solo home run to center field and when the Lady Titans came to bat in the bottom of the sixth, the wheels fell off for Danville.
Pauley was hit by a pitch and after a strike out, Arzen was plunked as well. After a Leigh Ann Morgan sacrifice, Pierron drove in her second and third runs when she doubled to left, making it 7-1.
Stevenson doubled to center, driving in Pierron and after a walk by Phillips chased Danville pitcher Kat Mickley from the circle, Harr helped her own cause when she doubled off Molly Alberts to make it 10-1.
Marting’s singled and Pauley reached base for the second time in the inning on a walk before a pinch-hit walk by Katie Kayser forced in the game-ending run.
“We came up with some timely hits and it all worked for us,” McKenzie said.
The Lady Titans will go for the Division IV Regional Championship against Strasburg-Franklin at 5 p.m. today at Pickerington Central High School.
So much of postseason play is about peaking at the right time and it appears McKenzie and his crew might have found the cohesion they need.
“If we play at the level we played at today, it wasn’t perfect, but it was as close as it gets,” he said. “Maybe a little more discipline at the plate.”
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danville 1 0 0 0 0 0 - 1 1 2
Notre Dame 4 0 0 0 1 6 - 11 11 1
Danville - Olivia Rice 1-1 (RBI), Parker 0-2 (R)
Notre Dame - Stevenson 4-4 (RBI, 2 R, 2B), Phillips 2-3 (2 R, BB), Harr 1-4 (2 RBI), Marting 1-2 (BB, R), Pauley 1-1 (HR, 2 RBI, 2 R), Arnzen 0-2 (HBP, 2 R, BB), Kayser 0-0 (BB), Pierron 2-3 (HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)
W - Harr
L - Mickley