INDIANAPOLIS —The North Miami softball team’s historic run to the state championship game came to an end Saturday afternoon with the Warriors wearing the blue ribbon medals around their necks as they hoisted the trophy shaped liked the Hoosier State.
It took 10 innings to determine the Class A champion with top-ranked North Miami earning the come-from-behind victory 3-1 over the North Daviess Cougars.
The Warriors are now state champions.
“This is very special,” North Miami coach Rob Cooley said. “I haven’t experienced anything like this ever in school history. The support we had throughout the community was outstanding.”
North Miami (31-4) was in uncharted territory as the Warriors were playing in their first softball state championship game, and the win marked the first girls team state title in school history. The only other state crown went to the football team in the 1993 season.
“I really don’t know how to react right now — it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Cooley said. “For this community, for this school and Steve Linn, our athletic director, is retiring this year so it’s nice to see him be able to get this.”
The scored was 1-1 after the regulation seven innings and the teams played even for the next two then in the top of the 10th, the Warriors struck.
With one out, North Miami junior Josie Wood drew a four-pitch intentional walk, the fourth time in four at-bats North Daviess (18-12) pitched around the Warriors' best hitter.
Josie Knauff then stepped to the plate and on the second pitch the sophomore saw, she hit a high chopper that was misplayed by Cougars shortstop Jess Miller for her second error of the game.
“I just took off as fast as I could and said, ‘Please let me make it,’” said Knauff, who ended up at third base after the throw home.