That quartet made four trips to state, placing second twice and winning the state title in 2011.
Redman said that the key for Lebanon if they want to have continued success at state is to have more than one pitcher.
“We have to develop pitchers,” she said. “Pitching is the main thing. That killed us. I have to give it to Keenon Gibbons, for coming into this game and throwing her best for three innings. But if you don’t have a couple of good, strong pitchers, it is hard to win state.”
Tigers top Don Ayres1-0 in semis
The Lebanon 12U Softball All-Stars advanced to the state championship game Tuesday night.
The Tigers won a close 1-0 decision of Don Ayres Times Corner (Fort Wayne) in the semifinals Tuesday afternoon.
“It feels great,” Lebanon head coach Debbie Redman said. “These girls have earned it. It is just a great feeling.”
Unlike when the two teams met in pool play, when Lebanon won 12-9, this game was a pitchers’ duel from the beginning.
Don Ayres managed just two hits in the game, both singles that didn’t get out of the infield.
Lebanon managed five hits, with Payton Ray and Payten Redman each hitting two. The other came on a single by Kaitlyn Blevins.
Lebanon used their speed to score the game’s lone run.
Back-to-back two-out singles by Redman and Blevins put runners on second and third in the fourth inning.
Taylor Wagoner showed bunt, and with the corners charging in, Redman stole third. The Don Ayres catcher threw to third but no one was on the bag and the throw went into left field, allowing Redman to score.
“Our hustle was the difference,” coach Redman said. “Like I have been saying all tournament, thank goodness for fast girls. That won us the ballgame today.”