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Never before in the history of Adams Central High School has a Jet softball team ever won an IHSAA sectional tournament, let alone a regional tournament, and heaven forbid, even think about a semi-state championship.
This year, however, a group of Adams Central ball players have banded together to play a game they love. That dedication of the game puts them in the IHSAA state finals this Saturday against the South Putnam Eagles, a team that arguably is a strong favorite to win the crown.
After all, the Eagles have won 53 consecutive games going back into the early part of 2011 when they last tasted defeat. They are the defending class 2A state champions in softball and this year have rolled up a 30-0 record (they went 28-1 last year enroute to the title). They have a fire baller on the mound by the name of Brooke Boetjer who is 21-0 this year and owns a near perfect ERA, a miniscule 0.11 (only two earned runs allowed this year in 129 innings pitched).
Boetjer has struck out 159 batters, walked only 15, and permitted just 52 hits this year. The two substitute pitchers for the Eagles, Kaylin Yon and Ashlee Gibson, have records of 7-0 and 2-0 respectively this year, and also sport ERAs of under 1.00. Boetjer hasn't escaped the collegiate radar, either, as she'll be playing softball next year at Indiana University.
The Eagles are also ranked number one in the latest high school girls class 2A softball poll.
But they haven't met the Adams Central Jets yet.
The Jets, a group that coach Cary Blake simply calls "a special bunch of gals," faced this same type of adversity last week at the Eastern High School semi-state where they were matched up against 30-1 Rochester, the number two team in the state.
While Rochester fans, and perhaps players, were making plans for the evening championship game at Eastern, and then trying to decide about the festivities in Indianapolis this weekend, they forget about the AC team that slowly and methodically chipped away at an early Zebra lead and the Rochester contingent looked aghast as Alyssa Keller slammed a late two-run double that gave the Jets a 5-4 lead.
So, this week it'll be the Adams Central Jets going to Ben Davis High School to play in the state finals (after they beat Carroll 4-2 in the championship game), while Rochester does, well, whatever it is one does in Rochester.
Blake said "there have been a lot of years where we could have won a sectional but a call here, a mistake there, or some missed opportunities occurred and we didn't. This year we got over that hump. They believe in themselves and don't doubt their ability. They just weren't going to be satisfied with the way the things were in the past. We just have to go out there and nail it down."