McCutcheon graduate Katie Han relished the chance to represent the Maverick softball program one last time.
Han stood out defensively and went 2-for-2, including an RBI double, to help the North win an 8-0 doubleheader opener in the Indiana All-Star Classic at Cherry Tree.
“It was a really neat experience to be able to see all of the best girls from around the state. That was really neat to see that come together,” said Han, who started at first base in Game 1 and in right field in Game 2. “My goal was to end up doing something right in these games and going 2-for-2 in one of the games was a good way to end it.”
The South won 3-0 in the second game, giving up just one hit – a sixth-inning single by Hebron’s Mollie Lindeman.
Han was one of just two players with multiple hits in the first game.
Twin Lakes’ Coryn Tirpak earned the pitching victory for the North in Game 1, giving up just a bloop single in two innings while striking out three.
Tirpak entered in the fourth inning with the North ahead 6-0.
“I did better than I expected,” Tirpak said. “I thought I would be nervous, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I went out there and just did what I usually do. I tried to go hard. It was the last high school game pretty much.”
West Lafayette’s Lauren Connell completed the battery while Tirpak pitched, a welcome shift from years of trying to hit off the Indians’ ace.
“It was really fun because I’ve always been a batter against her,” Connell said. “To see what goes into the pitches that I’ve faced was fun.”
Connell and Tirpak each finished 0-for-3. Connell scored a run in Game 1.
The North jumped ahead 5-0 in the first inning of Game 1, aided by a grand slam from Lake Central’s Nikki Adams, who earned MVP honors.
Han added to the lead when she doubled down the left-field line to score K’ya Toles-Burton of South Bend Adams. Han’s double came off South Putnam’s Brooke Boetjer, who was named Miss Softball after leading South Putnam to an undefeated season and a Class 2A state championship.
“It was a big confidence booster being able to hit off Miss Softball. It was kind of a big deal and just gets me pumped for college,” Han said.