PUTNAMVILLE — April 9, 2011. Unless an upset occurred Tuesday evening when South Putnam visited North Putnam, that was the last time the defending Class 2A state champion Eagles and pitching ace Brooke Boetjer lost a high school softball game. Competing on the second day of the Braves Softball Bash at Terre Haute’s Miss Softball America complex early last season, South Putnam dropped a 4-2 decision to Roncalli, which went on to capture the Class 3A state title in 2011. The right-handed Boetjer, then a junior, was pinned with a rare loss. “I think it was a slight wake-up call in that we were in a position to win [holding a 2-0 lead through four innings] … and gave up four runs in the fifth inning,” South Putnam coach Chris Jones recalled. “Afterward, people were saying, ‘Hey, this game felt like it had state championship atmosphere.’ “Without having been in a state championship game before, we really didn’t know. Looking back on it now, it did. It had that kind of feel to it and I think that helped us in the state tournament when we ran into some adversity.” After that setback to Roncalli, the Eagles won their final 25 games of 2011 — defeating Woodlan 5-1 in nine innings of the Class 2A state championship game at Ben Davis — and their first 14 games of 2012. For those of you who weren’t math majors, that’s 39 games in a row (and counting?) without a loss. Boetjer, who originally made a verbal commitment to attend 2011 NCAA champion Arizona State on a softball scholarship but changed her mind and signed a national letter-of-intent with Indiana last November, has been a big reason — literally and figuratively — for the Eagles’ success. Entering Tuesday, the 6-foot blonde from Fillmore allowed one earned run in 47 innings while posting an 8-0 record with 55 strikeouts this season. “When I was younger, I could depend more on my speed,” Boetjer told the Tribune-Star. “I could just blow it by everybody. Once I got older and once I got recruited [by colleges], everybody loved me for my speed and thought once I go to college, they can help me with my movement. But I decided I wanted to work on my movement while I was still in high school and be ready for college.” “She was good [as a freshman],” reflected Jones, who started coaching at South Putnam when Boetjer entered high school. “She had some raw moments … but she’s been able to work through that and mature, just become more of a complete pitcher. She’s got different pitches that she’s been working on. It’s been nice to see her grow as a pitcher and at the same time see our team grow.” “Everyone who’s recruited me has said I have an awkward [pitching] form,” Boetjer added. “I have good mechanics, but I have my own spin on things. It’s hard for people to hit off me because I have kind of a herky-jerky motion. I’ve just tried to change and pick up more movement and learn how to throw pitches differently. I’ve tried tons of changeups.” Boetjer mentioned that she’s always been a power pitcher who preferred to work on the outside part of the plate, but she’s rethinking that strategy as she matures. “Now I’m actually working on the inside — my riseball,” she emphasized. “My changeup used to be my worst pitch. But I went down to IU and I worked with my coach [Michelle Gardner] a little bit. She has me throwing the changeup she wants me to throw down there. I went down there every Monday five weeks for a camp.” The only earned run permitted by Boetjer in 2012 came against Terre Haute South in the Braves Bash, which South Putnam managed to win this time. “It makes me really mad,” she said of that run. “It was kind of a fielder’s choice [with a runner on third base and one out]… I’m very competitive, so any earned run I give up is kinda frustrating.” Boetjer is no slouch at the plate either. In the middle of last week, she owned a .541 batting average before going 3 for 3. “I feel like I’m doing OK,” she assessed. “It’s hard for me to hit slow pitchers. It’s hard for me to wait on the ball. But I feel like the more I get into the season, the more I’ll get into the groove of it.” “Brooke bats fourth for us,” Jones pointed out. “Her first two years, she played a little bit of first base when she wasn’t pitching. She does not play in the field anymore. She either pitches or she’s the designated player and hits. “She hits it hard and she puts the ball in play. It’s pretty tough to strike her out. She does have a big [strike] zone, but she’s got good range as far as being able to be patient with pitches and work the count. She’s done a really good job this year of taking the walk if they’re going to give it to her because a lot of teams don’t want to pitch to her. They’ve actually pitched around her more than I’ve seen in the past.” Boetjer and Jones aren’t sure how often she will get to bat at IU in the next four years, but she does sound sure that she made the right decision to continue her education and athletic career in Bloomington. As previously noted, there was a time when she wasn’t so sure. After visiting Arizona State in the fall of 2010, Boetjer announced that’s where she wanted to go to college, even though she really liked IU as well. But the ASU assistant coach who was instrumental in recruiting her left the program last year to accept a head-coaching job elsewhere, causing Boetjer to have second thoughts about her future. “I was freakin’ out about going so far away from home and I’m a big daddy’s girl,” she admitted. “So the thought of him [father Doug Boetjer] not being able to be at all my games … it sounded kinda crazy.” So Boetjer informed Gardner that she would be IU-bound in 2012 and now she’s focusing on helping South Putnam repeat as Class 2A state champion before she graduates. Unlike the 2009 Indianapolis Colts’ management, which had no interest in finishing undefeated, Boetjer and Jones would very much like to have a zero in the loss column when her senior season ends. “It would be amazing to do that [finish undefeated with a state title],” Boetjer acknowledged. “But we went undefeated my freshman year [in the regular season] and we lost to Cascade in the sectional.” “An undefeated season with a state championship obviously would be the ideal finish,” Jones said. “Honestly, though, I just want the team to get better throughout the year. I want to be able to make a run like we did last year and give ourselves an opportunity to win another state championship. If that means winning the rest of our games, then that would be perfect. That would be great. “But we’ve got a pretty tough schedule ahead of us [with singles games against Carmel and Terre Haute North in mid-May]. We did not play Carmel [the 2011 Class 4A state champion] last year, so that’s an upgrade to our schedule.” Not surprisingly, Boetjer does not sound intimidated about facing Carmel in a few weeks. “I’m excited for that game because I’m ready for them to see that a small-school team can do something too,” she stressed, “plus two girls from Carmel are going to IU.” In this potentially memorable season for South Putnam, the Eagles have posted one no-hitter (before Tuesday) and it occurred at home April 17 against Monrovia. Boetjer pitched that day, but she “settled” for a one-hitter in Game 1 of a doubleheader — won by South Putnam 12-0. Giving credit where credit is due, senior right-hander Kaylin Yon fired the no-hitter in a 5-0 Game 2 victory.
- High School
North baseball pulls away from South in sectional opener
In high school baseball little things mean a lot, and the crack in the door doesn’t have to be open very wide.
Terre Haute North burst through that crack in the bottom of the second inning Wednesday evening at Terre Haute South, scoring seven two-out runs and going on to a surprisingly easy 12-2 victory over the host Braves.
Blank, Mundy named McMillan Award winners
Posing side-by-side for photos following Terre Haute North High School’s Senior Awards ceremony, seniors Calvin Blank and Chanli Mundy couldn’t look more different.
West Vigo baseball advances with 10-0 win behind Stewart's two-hitter
West Vigo got off to a good start in Class 3A high school sectional baseball action Wednesday evening at Dick Ballinger Field.
The Vikings scored four runs in the first inning of the first sectional game and went on to defeat Brown County 10-0 in five innings with Kevin Stewart hurling a two-hitter.
Terre Haute South tennis claims regional crown
It was a lot tougher than some thought it would be, but the Terre Haute South girls tennis team won the Greencastle regional for the second year in a row Wednesday evening at DePauw University Tennis and Track Center.
Big group of Wabash Valley boys head to Evansville looking for state berths
The top four finishers in each event from last week’s Terre Haute North, Evansville Central, Jasper and Princeton boys high school track and field sectionals will converge on Evansville Central today for regional competition.
West Vigo comes up short against 19-9 Brown County softball
West Vigo got off to a good start but Brown County finished better in Class 3A high school softball sectional semifinal action Tuesday night at Edgewood.
The Eagles bested the Vikings 7-5 and will meet South Vermillion, a 12-7 winner over Owen Valley, for the sectional championship on Thursday starting at 6 p.m.
Valley baseball teams have been keeping busy heading into sectionals
When high school baseball sectionals begin around the Wabash Valley today, one complaint that’s not expected to be heard from any coach is that his team has had too much time off.
Northview powers way past Terre Haute South in sectional semifinal
Northview unleashed power rarely seen in high school girls softball Tuesday night to eliminate Terre Haute South 8-1 in the Class 4A Sectional at Martinsville High School.
The Knights hit three home runs in an eight-run third inning to reach the championship game.
Terre Haute North dominates field at regional
Keirra Porter took first place in two individual events and helped Terre Haute North win one of its relays as the Patriots captured the Evansville Central Regional team championship in girls high school track and field Tuesday night.
PREP ROUNDUP: South tennis cruises into regional final
Terre Haute South didn’t lose a game en route to blanking Seeger 5-0 in girls high school tennis Tuesday to advance to today’s championship match against Crawfordsville in the Greencastle Regional.
Terry enjoys strong year with Wildcats, and still enjoying suiting up to play
South Vermillion’s Tim Terry is the longest tenured coach in Wabash Valley high school baseball as his Wildcats are set to begin sectional play Thursday against Owen Valley.
But on the Yankees, a 35-and-over team in the Terre Haute Men’s Senior Baseball League, Terry is “just a youngster” if you ask Larry Roesch, his 68-year-old teammate on the Volkers Group Yankees.
West Vigo softball holds off nemesis Edgewood in softball sectional
Ice cream was enough of a reward Monday night after the West Vigo Vikings beat eight-time defending champion Edgewood 6-2 in extra innings in the opening game of the Class 3A softball sectional at Edgewood High School. But that’s not what Vikings want.
PREP ROUNDUP: Shakamak's Green hits two homers in win over West Vigo
Shakamak improved to 22-3 on the season behind a complete-game effort from Brett Yeryar, and Patrick Green hit two solo home runs in a high school baseball game Monday.
Terre Haute North offense unable to get going in loss to Mooresville
Jack Kirchner chose to give credit Monday night to Mooresville pitcher Taylor Chitwood, not to the Greg Maddux-size strike zone she seemed to enjoy.
But if there were no excuses forthcoming from Kirchner and his Terre Haute North High School softball team, it wouldn’t have been hard to find a spectator or two to come up with extenuating circumstances about the Patriots’ 4-1 loss at the Class 4A Martinsville Sectional.
Terre Haute North looking strong going into girls track regional
Terre Haute North might need an off night for anyone to catch them in the girls track regional at Evansville Central.
The Patriots are as well-rounded as they’ve ever been, and two relay teams are state contenders with times ranking No. 2 in Indiana among times recorded all spring.
Terre Haute South, Northview and Sullivan have athletes among the contenders in multiple events as well.
South tennis ready for potential challenge in regional
Terre Haute South and Northview take respective records of 10-5 and 11-5 into the Greencastle Regional today.
Softball sectionals up for grabs
All three Vigo County high schools and Northview appear to have a realistic chance of winning sectional championships in softball this week.
Terre Haute South, Northview vie for tennis regional title
Terre Haute South and Northview take respective records of 10-5 and 11-5 into the Greencastle Regional today.
Coach Bill Blankenbaker’s Braves will play Seeger at 4:30 p.m., while coach Emily Goff’s Knights will take on Crawfordsville about 6 p.m.
Vikings win in extra innings at Rockville
West Vigo scored six runs in its first two innings Saturday, then needed a ninth-inning single by Lucas Fagg to escape with a 7-6 extra-inning win in nonconference high school baseball at Rockville.
TH South beats Northview in Big Four makeup baseball game
Terre Haute South wrapped up a share of the MIC baseball title and finished up the Big Four Classic with an 8-1 victory over Northview in less than 24 hours on Saturday morning.
Olds pitches South to share of MIC baseball title
Friday night, winning the second game 5-0 and earning a share of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title.
Damon Olds was dominant on the mound for the Braves, striking out 14 and walking just one while pitching a three-hit shutout.
South wins first half of doubleheader against Lawrence North
Host Terre Haute South kept its Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title hopes alive — and clinched no worse than second place in the process — by downing Lawrence North 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Friday night.
The second game, which started after Senior Night festivities between games, ended past the Tribune-Star deadline.
PREP ROUNDUP: Calleja pitches West Vigo past South Vermillion
Brandon Calleja had 13 strikeouts to lead West Vigo to a 5-1 victory against South Vermillion in high school baseball Friday.
Brandon Behringer went 2 for 4 with two RBI for the Vikings, who secured second place in the Western Indiana Conference.
Kaden Lawson had double for South Vermillion (15-7), which finished 4-2 in the WIC.
Seibert returns from injury to win three events as Braves win sectional crown
His baseball equivalent might be Rick Sutcliffe of the 1984 Chicago Cubs.
When Tyler Seibert returned to the Terre Haute South track and field lineup Thursday for sectional action at Terre Haute North, it was like the midseason trade the Cubs made for Sutcliffe that earned them a playoff spot.
South switches up lineup to defeat North in tennis sectional
Terre Haute South coach Bill Blankenbaker said two weeks ago that he would change the Braves’ lineup after the 3-2 dual-meet loss to Terre Haute North.
The Patriots knew it was coming, but they couldn’t do anything to stop it.
PREP ROUNDUP: North slips past Northview in eight-inning baseball game
Colton Pittman drew a bases-loaded walk to score Zach Milam with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as host Terre Haute North edged Northview 8-7 in high school baseball Thursday at Jennings Field.
PREP ROUNDUP: North and South to face off for tennis sectional title
The winner of the Terre Haute sectional for girls high school tennis will come down to Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South.
Terre Haute North gets 10 event victories to claim 12th straight sectional crown
Terre Haute North won 10 events Tuesday night while winning the Indiana High School Athletic Association girls track and field section at South Putnam High School for the 12th straight year.
North, South to meet in first round of baseball sectional
The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced pairings for the baseball state tournament Tuesday and the draw offered up a Vigo County battle in the opening game.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo softball clinches share of WIC title
West Vigo clinched at least a share of the Western Indiana Conference softball title with a 6-4 victory over Edgewood on Tuesday.
Jacy McClain and Bailee Waters had RBI singles in the fourth inning to break the game open for the Vikings.
- More High School Headlines
- North baseball pulls away from South in sectional opener