By GREG MENGELT
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF. —
The New Albany-based Indiana Diamonds are still alive in the 14-and-under Premier Girls’ Fastpitch national softball tournament in Huntington Beach, Calif., after Wednesday’s 3-0 win over the North Carolina Lightning.
The Diamonds face California’s Team Mizuno-Briggs at 8:30 in this morning’s winners bracket quarterfionals. They’ll play in the winners bracket semifinals at 3:15 if they win beat Mizuno-Briggs.
In Wednesday’s win, Kassie King surrendered just two hits in the shutout performance. She struck out four Lightning batters.
“It was one of the truly dominating performances that we’ve seen from Kassie and we’ve seen some good ones,” Indiana manager Dennie Jenkins said. “She had their hitters off balance from start to finish.”
After a scorless first three innings, Jenna Endris led off the fourth with a single and moved to second on Jensen Striegel’s sacrifice bunt. King then singled up the middle and Gabbie Jenkins followed with a two-RBI single to center field on an 0-2 count to plate the game’s first two runs.
Regan Hadley gave King an insurance run in the fifth when she doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jenna Endris.
Taylor Castleberry went 2-for-3 in the victory for the Diamonds.
The Diamonds went 2-2 in pool play and beat the Texas Glory 8-1 and Team Mizuno (not the same as tomorrow’s opponent) 6-5 to advance to today’s winners bracket semis. The Diamonds are one of eight unbeaten teams left in bracket play.
The Diamonds, who have been together six years, are 40-12 this season.