Sullivan Blasts Salem To Win 13th Straight District Title
Maybe 13 isn’t so unlucky.
Sullivan defeated Salem 12-0 on Friday to win the Class 3 District 3 championship, their 13th straight title and the program’s 20th in the last 22 seasons.
The streak dates back to 2008 and though some championships have come easier than others, for head coach Ashley Crump, every single one is special.
Crump, who has been head coach since 2007 and was part of three district title teams as a player, said winning brings back memories of all the girls who have contributed.
“It’s not something we ever set out do — get a streak going,” she said. “It’s just fun to think back.”
Sullivan didn’t have to sweat much through this year’s tournament. They outscored Salem and Cuba 22-0, hit six home runs and Hanna Johanning dominated both foes in the circle.
The Lady Eagles pummeled Salem and removed all suspense early with a six-run first inning, punctuated by Alyssa Sharp’s first home run of the season.
“I’m glad our bats didn’t take awhile to show up,” Crump said. “We got right to work. Sometimes it’s difficult to go from fast pitching to slow pitching, but we weren’t too anxious. They did a great job staying relaxed and going to work.”
Johanning belted her third home run of the tournament in the second inning, a sky-high fly ball that just kept carrying over the left field fence.
Johanning, who leads the Lady Eagles with eight home runs and 38 RBIs, drove in eight of Sullivan’s 22 tournament runs.
Sullivan nearly had three home runs against Salem, but Chloe Bonner robbed Hannah Campbell in the first as she extended her reach past the fence to snag the would-be long ball. Bonner collided with the fence and popped up to show the umpire that the ball was in her glove.
Salem caught nearly everything the Lady Eagles hit to the outfield and Bella Jadwin threw out Riley Branson at home plate.
Sullivan’s offense ripped into Micah Bobbitt for 13 hits. Madyson Stahl had a three-hit night and scored three runs.
Sharp, Branson and Sophia Weirich each had a pair of hits, with Sharp collecting four RBIs.
Kayla Ulrich and Jaedin Blankenship both singled. Blankenship drove in two.
The Lady Eagles needed four batters to get on the board.
Weirich, who opened the scoring for Sullivan against Cuba one night earlier, had an RBI single that scored Stahl.
Blankenship’s two-run single made it 3-0. After Alexis Funkhouser reached on an error, Sharp launched a three-run homer to center to give Sullivan a 6-0 lead.
Johanning went deep in the second, a two-run blast to left. Sharp lofted a two-out RBI single into right and Sullivan went up 9-0.
After a double by a Ulrich and single by Stahl, Johanning had a two-run opposite field single to increase the lead to 11-0.
Stahl lined a bases-loaded single to left in the fourth, scoring Morgan Braun. The inning ended when Jadwin’s throw beat Branson at the plate.
Salem was unable to muster so much as a hit against Johanning. She struck out nine and pitched around five walks.
The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs in the third. Johanning froze Bonner looking, then fanned Savannah Manthey and Grace Kunkel to end the inning.