INDIANAPOLIS —After winning a tough-as-nails semi-state last weekend at North Daviess, Borden’s softball team felt confident as it prepared for the state title game.
The Braves stayed aggressive on the bases, forced some miscues and completed its Class A state championship run with a 5-3 win over Frontier on a steamy Saturday at Ben Davis High School.
“I didn’t want to get them overconfident,” Borden coach Michele Schindler said. “But I also didn’t want them scared. I wanted to treat it like any other game. I think they handled it pretty well.”
The title is the school’s second in all team sports. Three years ago, the boys basketball program won a Class A title.
“It doesn’t seem real,” said pitcher Paige Schindler, a University of Louisville commit. “It’s a dream come true.”
The Braves (21-2) took advantage of some early miscues by the Falcons (22-9).
With one out in the bottom of the first, Riley Schindler and Haley Shouse both reached on infield singles.
On Shouse’s hit to shortstop, Frontier’s Abbie Mikesell threw wildly past first base. As the ball rolled toward right field, Schindler raced around third and beat the throw to the plate.
“I knew I had to go,” Riley Schindler said. “We had to score first. I used my speed to my advantage. … We all did our parts. I’m so proud of my team. It’s so awesome being here with my best friends.”
The next batter, Keisha Curry, singled and Shouse scored, giving the Braves a quick 2-0 cushion. In the bottom of the third inning, the Braves added to their lead and scored two more.
Riley Schindler, the lead-off batter, was hit by a pitch and then Shouse hit a grounder to second base. The throw from Payton Clapper went past first base and Shouse went to second while Schindler advanced to third base.
Curry then grounded out to third base. When the third baseman threw to first, Schindler took off toward the plate. The throw to the plate from Ceira White sailed over the catcher’s head and both runners scored. The Braves led 4-0.
“We wanted to come out scoring to give Paige a cushion to work with,” said Michele Schindler.
In the top of the fifth, Frontier cut it to 4-1 as Clapper delivered a run-scoring single to center as Nicole Favre scored.
The Falcons added two more in the top of the sixth as Katelynn Hall and Jenna Breedlove singled with one out. Hall scored on a grounder to second and Breedlove came home when Favre beat out a grounder to shortstop.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Braves added an important insurance run as Curry drew a lead-off walk and then scored when Emily Parsons ripped a triple off the fence in center field.
“The defense helped me out a lot,” said Paige Schindler. “They really had my back. I was trying to get used to the strike zone.”
Paige Schindler recorded seven strikeouts and walked three.
“(The umpire) said he wouldn’t give the corners and that’s not Paige’s game,” said the Borden coach and Schindler’s mom. “The defense had to step up and make plays.”
“I wasn’t concerned,” said Riley Schindler, Paige’s twin sister. “I knew she would keep battling.”
Michele Schindler said she’s already thinking about a repeat because every player returns.
“In September, we will start conditioning,” she said. “… I want another one.”
CLASS A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
FRONTIER 000 012 0 – 3 6 3
BORDEN 202 001 x – 5 4 1
W- Paige Schindler 21-2. L- Savanna Harrison 17-8. 2B- K.C. Clapper (F). 3B- Emily Parsons (B). Records: Frontier 22-9, Borden 21-2.