PREP ROUNDUP: Pioneer falls in 9 innings in sectional heartbreaker

May 24—The Pioneer softball team won a Class 2A state title three years ago, but its final season in Class 2A in the foreseeable future ended in heartbreaking fashion Thursday.

Rochester won 7-6 in nine innings as the Zebras scored the winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth.

Rochester (16-9) won its first sectional title in softball since 2012 and extended Pioneer's (19-9) sectional drought to three years.

The pitching matchup was a battle of freshmen. Rochester's Bria Renberger allowed six runs (four earned) on nine hits and three walks with six strikeouts in nine innings. Pioneer's Lois Layer allowed seven runs (three earned) on 12 hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts in eight-plus innings.

Freshmen Brailyn Hunter and Jadyn Field had RBI singles in the first inning to get Rochester out to an early 2-0 lead.

Pioneer got a run back in the second on an RBI double by freshman Addison Kennell.

Freshman Aubrey Wilson had an RBI double in the bottom of the frame to get the run back for the Zebras.

Layer hit a single to left in the third and senior Kylie Attinger came around to score on an error to get Pioneer back to within 3-2.

The Zebras answered again in the bottom of the frame when a Rensberger infield single turned into an error that Field scored on.

The Panthers came back to tie the game in the fifth. Senior Emma Sells stole third and scored on a throwing error for the first run. Layer added a sac fly to tie the game.

Pioneer took its first lead of the game on a two-run home run by senior Casey Webb in the sixth.

But the Zebras again answered in the bottom of the frame. Wilson had an infield single that scored junior Darah Strasser, who had tripled with one out. Sophomore Aubrey Miller followed with an RBI single to tie the game.

It remained a 6-6 game heading into the bottom of the ninth. Hunter led off with a double to center. Field reached on an error to put the winning run on third before a passed ball ended the game.

Senior Addie Cripe went 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Panthers. Layer had two hits and an RBI. Kennell had a double and RBI. Freshman Ava Ott had a double. Sells added a single and run scored. Attinger scored a pair of runs.

Rensberger went 3-for-4 for the Zebras. Wilson had a double, single and two RBIs. Hunter had a double, single and RBI. Field had two hits and an RBI. Sophomore Mylee Heinzmann added a single.

Rochester travels to Delphi (17-8) for a one-game regional at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Oracles are a defending regional champion.

Delphi defeated Carroll 5-0 Wednesday to win the Delphi Sectional title. Senior Lexi Miller pitched a three-hit shutout with two walks and 14 strikeouts. Jenna Roth went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI. Miller, Mady Anderson and Emma Titus added two hits apiece.



The boys track and field regional championships were held in Goshen Thursday evening in pleasant conditions. The top three individuals and relay teams advanced to next Saturday's State Finals in Bloomington. No area athletes advanced, but there were some noteworthy performances.

Lewis Cass' extraordinary sophomores Julian Levine and Kale Skiles showed well. Levine almost advanced to state, placing fourth with a jump of 6 feet, 3 inches, one inch shy of advancing.

Julian also finished 14th in the long Jump, leaping 20 feet, 2 inches. Kale Skiles broke the magic 10-minute mark in the 3200 with a season-best time of 9:58.29, placing a respectable 11th. Skiles, one of the best distance runners in the area as a freshman and sophomore, is good. Expect great things from both of these athletes the next couple of years.

In the 1600, Pioneer junior Leighton Dodt continued his pursuit of breaking the 4:30 barrier. Leighton beat Eastern running nemesis Obadiah Greene by a step for a hard-earned eighth-place finish in a personal- and season-best 4:33.4. Dodt has all the talent to crack the mentally tough 4:30 barrier. Look for him to do just that next year.

Pioneer sophomore Ian Kitchell placed 12th in the 400 in :52.3 and Jackson Baker finished 14th in :52.47. Look for Ian to break 51 seconds next year.

Hat's off to senior Jackson Baker, running in his final track meet. Jackson has been one of the best 800-meter runners in the area for four years and switched to the 400 this year.

Panther senior Carson Meyer concluded an outstanding cross country and track career by placing 15th in the 3200 in 10:34, well off his best time.

Pioneer's crack 3200 relay team of Meyer, Kitchell, Baker and Dodt scored an eighth-place finish in 8:20.09. Pioneer's 1600 relay team of Dodt, Austin Brooke, Baker and Kitchell closed the meet scoring another eighth place in 3:32.37. Both relays were beaten by large schools. Pioneer's relay times were tops for Class A schools.

Logansport Berry sophomore Nickenson Hyppolite jumped 5 foot, 10 inches for 15th place in the high jump.

It's worth mentioning that Maconaquah junior A.J. Kelly won the regional championship in the 400-meter dash in :49.22. The speedy Kelly has a shot at the state title in Bloomington next week.

Jon Wicker


Winamac sophomore Charles Disinger placed 12th with a throw of 44 feet, 10 inches and senior Max Keller placed 14th in 44-2 in the shot put Thursday.



Cass hosted Rochester Thursday evening for an exhibition nine-hole match for senior night. Each team put together two-man scramble teams and each match was worth one point. There were six total matches and the Kings and Rochester each won three matches leaving it in a tie.

It was a beautiful evening and the boys had a lot of fun. The boys varsity golf team would like to say thank you to the following seniors and wish them the best of luck in the future: Garrett Helvie, Kyle Henry, Jon Morris, Drew Sailors and Rylan Stoller. They will be greatly missed!



Logansport senior Lydia Goad will compete in the state singles tournament Saturday. She was awarded as a sectional champion this week by default.

Goad (17-5) will play New Haven junior Abigail Snodgrass at 10 a.m. today in regional action. Lapel's Gracie Frazier (11-5) will play Marion's Shaeli Castaneda (20-3) in the other semifinal. The final is at 2 p.m.