May 24, 2024 at 1:48 a.m.

As S(h)imple as that

Jozey Shimp hits three-run blast, records final out to get JCHS back to sectional championship for the first time since 2010
Jay County High School first baseman Jozey Shimp dives to beat Mississinewa’s Allie Trejo to the bag for the final out of the IHSAA Class 3A Sectional 24 semifinal on Thursday. Shimp also hit a three-run home run in the first inning to help secure the 6-4 victory that got the Patriots back to the sectional championship game for the first time since 2010. (The Commercial Review/Andrew Balko)
Jay County High School first baseman Jozey Shimp dives to beat Mississinewa’s Allie Trejo to the bag for the final out of the IHSAA Class 3A Sectional 24 semifinal on Thursday. Shimp also hit a three-run home run in the first inning to help secure the 6-4 victory that got the Patriots back to the sectional championship game for the first time since 2010. (The Commercial Review/Andrew Balko)

MUNCIE — It’s been 14 years since the Patriots competed in the sectional finals.

Jozey Shimp played a key role in gaining an early lead for the Patriots in the semifinal. Six innings later, she made a stellar defensive play to help them to hang on for the victory.

Shimp’s heroics helped lead the Jay County High School softball team to a 6-4 victory over the Mississinewa Indians in the IHSAA Class 3A Sectional 24 semifinal on Thursday at Delta.

The last time Jay County (16-6) competed in a sectional championship game came in 2010 when the Patriots lost to Homestead in Class 4A. Thursday’s win sets up a date with the No. 7 Yorktown Tigers in today’s championship game at noon.

“For them, it’s a great accomplishment, especially for the seniors,” JCHS coach Doug Arbuckle said. “I’m sure it’s an exciting time for them and I’m happy for them.”

The Patriots got off to a hot start against Mississinewa’s Lilah Greer in the first inning, putting up six runs.

Mallory Winner was the first to reach base, as she took advantage of an error by shortstop Amiyaa Parr-Inman. Riah Champ followed with a walk and Jaelynn Lykins drove in the first run with a single up the middle.

Shimp followed Lykins and worked a 3-0 count. Greer came back to even the count before making a mistake by throwing a ball right down the middle.

Shimp didn’t waste it.

The Jay County junior got a hold of the ball and sent it over the fence in left-center field for a three-run home run.

“She was pushing all over the place,” Shimp said. “She was mixing it up, inside and outside. I had a 3-0 count and then she brought it back. I was just sitting for my pitch to hit something hard.

“(Those runs were) super important. We needed that little edge to get ahead of them, keep the game moving and keep everybody up.”

The Patriots scored two more runs in the inning. Hallie Schwieterman hit a screaming line drive down the first-base line for a triple. She scored off of Carley Trinidad’s fly ball at the edge of the outfield grass that Parr-Inman mishandled.

Calie Yates’ single to left field got Trinidad home from second to close the scoring.

Shimp also came up big in the top of the seventh inning.

Winner recorded two outs and gave up a single to Jaeli Miller to start off the final frame. She then walked Greer, and an error by Schwieterman at shortstop allowed a run to score to bring Mississinewa (13-9) within three. The Indians cut the deficit to two when Shimp mishandled a throw from Lykins in an attempt to back pick Brooklynn Nash at first base.

It didn’t take long for Shimp to make up for her mistake. On the next pitch, Allie Trejo hit a ground ball between Shimp and Trinidad at second base.

The JCHS first baseman chose to field the ball herself, creating a close play at the bag. Both the runner and the fielder ended up diving in an attempt to reach the base first.

Shimp beat Trejo to end the game.

“I didn’t know if I should let (Trinidad) get it, but I just went with my gut and went for it,” Shimp said. “I’d seen her coming down the line and she was pretty fast. I just dove for it and tried my best to give it everything I had.

“It was crazy. I was just so excited and happy for our team.”

After Greer gave up the six first-inning runs, Indians coach Heather Swarts called on Nash to pitch the rest of the game.

During Nash’s five innings, she only gave up two hits and held the Patriots scoreless. She allowed a pair of runners to reach base in the third and fifth innings, but a combination of weak contact and strikeouts kept Jay County from scoring any more runs.

Winner matched Nash in the circle.

Despite suffering an ankle injury during warm ups, Winner went the distance for Jay County. She only gave up one earned run, which came in the second inning as Parr-Inman doubled and later scored on Miller's groundout. She finished with six strikeouts and only allowed three hits, while throwing 101 pitches.

“If you know Mallory’s history, she’s a warrior,” Arbuckle said. “There wasn’t any way she wasn’t going to toe that rubber tonight and she battled. … She moved her pitches around a bit and kept them guessing and off balance.”

The Patriots won’t have it easy on today, as they face a state-ranked opponent in their pursuit of Jay County’s first sectional championship in softball. Arbuckle mentioned cleaning up defensive mistakes and staying disciplined at the plate as being keys to a potential victory.


Jay County Patriots

vs. Mississinewa Indians


IHSAA Class 3A

Sectional 24 semifinal


Mississinewa (13-9)

    ab    r    h    bi

Nash lf    4    0    1    0

Trejo cf    4    0    0    0

Tegardem 2b    3    0    0    0

Baledge rf    3    0    0    0

Parr-Inman ss    3    1    1    0

Couse c    3    0    0    0

   Matchette cr    0    1    0    0

Miller dp    3    1    1    1

Smith 1b    3    0    0    0

Greer p    2    1    0    0    

Totals    28    4    3    1


Jay County (16-6)

    ab    r    h    bi

Missicano rf    4    0    1    0

Winner p    4    0    0    0

   Garrett cr    0    1    0    0

Champ 3b    3    1    0    0

Lykins c    3    0    1    1

   Romine cr    0    1    0    0

Shimp 1b    2    1    1    3

   Bright pr    0    0    0    0

Fraley cf    3    0    0    0

Schwieterman ss    3    1    2    0

Trinidad 2b    3    1    1    0

Yates lf    3    0    1    1    

Totals    28    6    7    5


Miss.    020    000    2 — 4

Jay County    600    000    X — 6


LOB — Mississinewa 4, Jay County 6. 2B — Mississinewa 1 (Parr-Inman). 3B — Jay County 1 (Schwieterman). HR — Jay County 1 (Shimp).


    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO

Mississinewa

Greer    1    5    6    3    1    1

Nash    5    2    0    0    1    5


Jay County

Winner    7    3    4    1    1    6


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