Western’s girls tennis team closed the regular season with a 3-2 victory over Tipton on Monday.
The Panthers’ first point came from Abigail Moreno, who was a 6-1, 6-3 winner at No. 1 singles. The Panthers prevailed in a pair of three-setters for their other points with Eliza Lutgen winning 6-0, 6-7, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and Darian Hall and Emma Moore winning 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 1 doubles.
“Five of our eight losses this year have been 2-3 [scores] so it was great to have the score flipped around this time, where we were able to squeak out a 3-2 win,” Western coach Judson Quinn said. “At one point, we were down 1-2 and we we were starting the third sets at 2 singles and 1 doubles and we needed both of them. They got out to 4-1 starts which was important.”
Western (5-8) could face Tipton again this week in the Kokomo Sectional. The Panthers drew an opening-round bye and will face the Eastern-Tipton winner in Thursday’s semifinal round.
EASTERN 5, H. HEIGHTS 0
No. 1 singles player Casey Clark provided the highlight in the Comets’ regular-season finale. Clark scored a 6-0, 6-2 win for her 78th career win, tying 2011 graduate Carly Miles for the program’s all-time record.
“That’s a phenomenal accomplishment,” coach Pat Rice said. “I know Casey played 2 [singles] for three years and Carly played 1 all four, but no matter where you’re at in the lineup, that’s an amazing thing to accomplish.”
Also for Eastern (18-1), Callie Sargent pitched a 6-0, 6-0 shutout at No. 2 singles, Ella Flanary was a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 winner at No. 3 singles, Morgan White and Kaylee Weeks won 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) at No. 1 doubles and Kristina Standish and Addison Ream won 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles.
“Our team played fantastic up and down the lineup,” Rice said.
The IHSAA drew sectional pairings Monday. The Kokomo Sectional’s opening round is Wednesday with three-time defending champ Northwestern vs. Taylor in one match and Eastern vs. Tipton in the other. In Thursday’s semifinal round, Kokomo will face the NW-Taylor winner and Western will face the Eastern-Tipton winner.
The Peru Sectional’s opening round matches are Wednesday and have Maconaquah vs. Southwood in one match and Peru vs. Wabash in the other. In Thursday’s semifinal round, it’s Northfield vs. the Mac-Southwood winner and Manchester vs. the Peru-Wabash winner.
The Logansport Sectional’s opening round has Logan vs. Cass. The semifinal round has that winner facing Delphi in one match and Carroll vs. Twin Lakes in the other.
KATS 6TH IN NCC
Kokomo finished sixth in a field of eight complete teams at the North Central Conference tournament at Pebble Brook G.C.
No. 18-ranked Harrison won the title for the fifth straight year since joining the league. The Raiders posted a score of 316, three better than runner-up Logansport. Muncie Central (330) was third followed by McCutcheon (332), Lafayette Jeff (362), Kokomo (367), Richmond (367) and Anderson (439). Marion was incomplete.
Kokomo beat Richmond for sixth on the tiebreaker (better No. 5 player’s score).
Freshman Brandon Hansen led the Wildkats with a 79, good for seventh medalist and a spot on the all-conference team. Connor Scheiman (92), Tyler Janssen (97) and Ty Lauderbaugh (99) followed for the Kats.
“The course was barely playable — there was standing water everywhere and the temperature when we teed off was maybe 41 or 42. It’s just been that kind of spring,” Kokomo coach Jay Davis said. “Brandon played really well. For a freshman to walk on the course like that and shoot 79 was great. He out-shot a kid in his group who’s going to Ohio State to play golf next year.”
Harrison’s Nic Hoffman was medalist with a 1-under 69.
WESTERN 166, LCC 168
Two days after winning the Hoosier Conference tournament, Western beat league rival Lafayette Central Catholic in a dual on Battle Ground’s par-36 back nine.
Levi Purtee and Kyle Sanders led the Panthers with 40s and Avery Hayes and Trevor White followed with 43s.
“I’m pretty pleased with Hayes and White,” Western coach Steve Hoppes said. “We had nobody under 40, but still shot a decent score of 166. We packed our scores in tight. And the best thing about the whole match was the sun came out.”
EASTERN 6, NW 3
Down 2-0 after four innings and 3-1 after six, Eastern exploded for five runs in the top of the seventh to stun Northwestern.
Cam Arcari went 2 for 4 with two RBI to lead the Comets. Lukas Darling and Gabriel Franks added an RBI apiece.
Arcari pitched a complete game for the win. He scattered nine hits and allowed two earned runs. He struck out eight and walked none.
Northwestern used five different pitchers. Ben Harris started and fired three dominant innings with seven strikeouts. Tate Mullens pitched the fourth and fifth and allowed one run and Tanner Pipenger pitched the sixth. Logan Bowser started the seventh and faced four batters, allowing three hits and a walk. All four runners scored. Ben Beachy relieved and finished the seventh.
A.J. Hobson and Harris led the Tigers with 2-for-4 games. Hobson, Harris and Bowser had a triple apiece and Cole Wise had a double.
“We had more hits, [the Comets] had three more errors than us and they had three more strikeouts offensively. But they just seemed to put it all together in the seventh,” NW coach Ryan Ward said, noting the Comets were able to string hits together in the seventh while the Tigers lacked clutch hitting when they had runners in scoring position.
WESTFIELD 12, KOKOMO 3
Up 6-3 after two inning, the Shamrocks scored two runs in the third inning and four runs in the sixth to win going away at Municipal Stadium.
The Wildkats had a rough night. Their pitchers allowed 16 hits, their defense committed four errors and their hitters managed only three hits.
Easton Dupay took the loss. Michael Ewing, Jaden Armfield and Cooper Hansen drove in the Kats’ runs.