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Wawasee girls eliminate Lakeland

Wawasee eliminated host Lakeland, 5-2 in the opening round of the local 3A softball sectional Monday night in LaGrange.

The Lady Warriors, ranked fourth in the final 3A state poll, took the early lead on a two-run homer by Meghan Fretz in the first inning. Wawasee added single tallies in the third, fourth and sixth frames to build a 5-0 cushion. Beth Fanning homered in the fourth.

Lakeland rallied with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBI singles by Elise Edwards and Christa Parham. But relief pitcher Amber Lemberg got out of the jam and retired the Lady Lakers in the seventh to nail down the Wawasee triumph.

Fretz started in the pitcher’s circle for the Lady Warriors, striking out nine and walking three over 5.2 innings. Edwards suffered the loss.

Alie Brito lined four hits to pace Wawasee at the plate. Kylee Palmer joined Edwards and Parham in the Lakeland hit column.

The loss ended the Lady Laker season with a 7-18 record.

Wawasee went on to pound West Noble, 9-0 in the semifinals Tuesday night. The Lady Chargers had upended NorthWood, 9-4 in first-round play Monday.

Lemberg fired a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts to spark the Lady Warriors. Brito, Fretz, Aubrey Kuhn and Hannah Haines all had two hits.

Fairfield outslugged Tippecanoe Valley, 17-10 in the other semifinal game Tuesday. After blowing a 7-1 advantage, the defending champion Lady Falcons exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to re-take the lead for good.

Bobbie Freese tripled, doubled twice, singled and drove in three runs to pace Fairfield at the dish. Abby Betten, Kayla Scott and Katie Prater all had two hits for Tippy Valley.

Wawasee (23-3) and Fairfield (13-13) square off in the championship game Thursday night at 6 p.m. The Lady Falcons edged the Lady Warriors, 1-0 in last year’s title tilt.