There wasn’t much drama in the Nashville softball team’s Class 2A state semifinal on Saturday; the Hornettes took care of business early on.
Nashville scored three runs in the first inning, and Maci Ingram shut down St. Joseph-Ogden in a 4-0 victory at EastSide Centre.
Ingram fanned 10 batters and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. She ultimately allowed just two hits.
“It means everything to be up here my senior year because I was there for my seniors during my freshman and sophomore years,” Ingram said. “My team has definitely been behind me the whole time.”
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Already staked to a 3-0 advantage after one frame, Ingram struck out five batters in the first two innings.
“Getting to go out there in a semifinal game with a three-run lead just calms you down immediately,” Ingram said. “I was nervous before the game probably more than I was when I was younger. We hope to go out with a bang playing in that state championship game one last time.”
Jordi Harre and Mackenzie McFeron each reached base on singles against Tori Witruk to open the contest. Emily Thompson stepped in and smacked a line drive to center field, which brought home two runs.
“It helps when there are two outs, and you’ve got your two leadoffs on base,” Thompson said of the big hit. “It’s a good thing we play the later game (Saturday) so we can get a nap in. We’ll probably be up all night because we’re so excited. It would be like a story book ending to win a state championship as seniors.”
Brooke Burcham added an RBI double in the first frame for Nashville. McFeron drove in a run in the second inning for a 4-0 lead, and that was more than enough for Ingram, who eclipsed 400 strikeouts for the season in this game.
The Spartans’ Ashlynn McConaha laid down a bunt single in the sixth inning to break up Ingram’s no-hit bid.
“It was a tough road, extremely tough through the whole postseason,” said Nashville coach Dempsey Witte. “We’re here now. We’re going to give our best shot and see what happens.”
The Nashville seniors won it all in 2012 and claimed third in the state in 2013.
“I looked over there and saw Jordi and Emily kind of dancing before the game and singing some songs,” Witte said. “I knew they were pretty loose, and I think that kind of helped everybody relax.”
Nashville (38-2) takes on Brimfield (32-5-1) for the state championship at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.