Senior staff writer
Franklin Central softball coach Kathy Stricker will be inducted into the Indiana High School Coaches Hall of Fame June 16 at Carmel High.
Friends, family members and current and former players took part in the surprise announcement last week before a game. She was presented with a floral bouquet and was caught off guard by the pregame ceremony.
Stricker, who has been the team’s only head coach since the program was launched 38 years ago, is seeking her sixth Marion County championship. The Flashes host Lutheran in a semifinal matchup at 5:15 p.m. Thursday; Decatur Central and North Central collide in the other semifinal, also at 5:15 p.m. The winners meet at 7 p.m.
“She was shocked,” athletic director Greg Orr posted online. “We actually pulled one over on her.”
Stricker (594-287) has won 11 sectional, 10 Conference Indiana and five regional titles, one semistate and reached the state championship game twice. She is a 17-time Conference Indiana Coach of the Year, four-time County and three-time District 3 Coach of the Year.
The Flashes defeated Lawrence Central 11-0 in five innings and then Southport 7-1 to reach the county semifinals.
Against Lawrence Central, pitcher Katie Back allowed only one hit and struck out nine Wildcats. Claire Gilliland hit a double, a homer and scored three runs. Emily Falks also homered and drove in three runs.
Against Southport, Back hurled the final four innings for the win in relief of starter Casey Matthews. Gilliland hit a home run and reached base two more times. Jada Austin and Kayla Green each hit two singles in three trips apiece to the plate.
Lutheran downed 4A Ben Davis 7-3 in the first round and then dominated Brebeuf Jesuit. The Saints broke the Giants with a four-run fifth inning. Rylee Morris drove in two runs and Randi Zulkowski had two hits. Senior Kimmie Kuehr was the winning pitcher.
The Saints exploded for a 15-1 five-inning win against winless Brebeuf on 11 hits and four errors by the Braves. Lutheran scored all its runs in the first two innings. Stormy Bonds drove in three runs and Morris, Gabby Moore and Katie Hopkins each two.
Roncalli opened by defeating Pike but could not score Monday at Decatur Central and lost 7-0, striking out 10 times to Karli Ricketts. “We haven’t seen a pitcher throw that hard all season,” Roncalli coach Dave Lauck said.
Lauren Fey picked up the Rebels’ only hit in the first inning when she beat the throw from third base.
Heavy rains Friday forced the final two rounds from Ben Davis to various sites.