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  • Val T.

Zimpleman has 3 hits, but Erb’s walk-off single lifts West Central over Caston


Sports Editor, RTC

The Caston softball team lost to West Central 4-3 in eight innings to West Central in a Class 1A, Sectional 52 quarterfinal at North Miami Monday. Ranked No. 5, Caston finished the season 18-5 overall and 7-0 in the Hoosier North. They won their third straight conference title.


West Central 4, Caston 3 (8 innings, Monday): Jaden Erb’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth scored Brooklynn Mellon to lift the No. 13 West Central softball team to a come-from-behind win over No. 5 Caston in a Class 1A, Sectional 52 quarterfinal at North Miami Monday.

Erb’s game-winning hit came one inning after a game-tying homer from Annika Smith.

West Central improved to 15-6. Caston finished 18-5. Two of their losses were to West Central. The Lady Trojans never led until the last pitch of the game.

West Central will play North Miami, who received a bye, in the semifinals at 5 p.m. today.

Southwood routed Northfield 12-2 in five innings in Monday’s other quarterfinal. Southwood will face North White in the second semifinal at 7 p.m. today.

Addison Zimpleman had three hits and two runs scored for the Lady Comets. Isabel Scales had a double and an RBI, and Alexa Finke also had a double.

Kylee Logan had a single and an RBI. Macee Hinderlider scored a run.

Erb pitched a six-hitter with no walks and five strikeouts for the win. She overcame three errors from her defense that led to two unearned runs; on the other hand, Caston lost despite committing errorless defense.

Caston was within three outs of a win before Annika Smith hit a game-tying homer off Zimpleman to lead off the bottom of the seventh.

Zimpleman retired the next three batters to take the game to extra innings, but Erb retired Scales, Annie Harsh and Madi Douglass in order in the top of the eighth.

In the bottom half, Zimpleman fanned Evie Libey, but Mellon singled and Mara Sharpe walked in advance of Erb’s game-winning hit.

Scales’ two-out double in the first scored Zimpleman with the game’s first run.

Hinderlider reached on an error, went to second on a wild pitch and later scored on Logan’s RBI single in the third.

Kailee Bishop and Jalie Glasford had RBI singles off Zimpleman in the fourth.

But Caston retook the lead at 3-2 in the fifth when Zimpleman singled, stole second and scored when Natalie Warner reached on a two-out error.

Caston also lost to West Central 6-4 on April 22 in Fulton in their regular season meeting. Caston defeated West Central 10-4 in the 2023 sectional semifinals en route to their first sectional, regional and semistate titles in school history.

West Central 4, Caston 3 (8 innings)

Caston 101 010 00 – 3 6 0

West Central 000 200 11 – 4 6 3

WP – Erb (8 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

LP – Addison Zimpleman (7 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

2B – Isabel Scales (CAS), Alexa Finke (CAS)

HR – Annika Smith (WC)

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