A third straight regional championship has the Lebanon Tigers softball team just three steps away from perfection.
The last two seasons has seen Lebanon fall short of the state finals with a losses in the Class 3A semi-state, but the girls will get a third shot at breaking through after beating Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 9-3 on Tuesday night
“I think we if we continue to play our game I like our chances,” said Lebanon coach Steve Smith on advancing to a third straight semi-state. “We have to clean some things up. We’ve gotten a little sloppy as the year has progressed.”
That sloppiness was evident in the first inning as the Tigers quickly found themselves behind due to a very slow start.
Chatard (12-17) was able to put three runs on the board thanks to solid early hitting at the top of the order. Alex Barnes reached on an infield single and was followed by a walk from Victoria Toetz.
Maggie Kassenbrock drove in Barnes with a double and a triple to right field by Meghan Barnes made it 3-0 before the Tigers even had a single at bat.
“I wouldn’t say that the start was expected but it certainly felt like it put a little bit of desperation into us,” said Smith. “I felt like, ‘hey, we had better wake up and start playing.’”
For two innings Chatard looked primed to pull the upset on No. 2 ranked Lebanon (26-0).
For more of this story, read Wednesday's Lebanon Reporter.