Lakeland and Fairfield will square off for a 3A softball sectional championship Thursday night in LaGrange.
The 22-6 Lady Lakers and 18-8 Lady Falcons earned their finals berths Tuesday night with semifinal victories. Lakeland topped West Noble, 6-3 and Fairfield waxed Tippecanoe Valley, 16-3.
It will be the third meeting of the NECC powerhouses. Lakeland won both of the previous tussles, including a 2-0 triumph in the conference tournament finale at Fairfield.
Ashton Miller’s two-run single in the first inning staked Lakeland to an early lead over West Noble. Madison Campbell then singled home a run in the second to make it a 3-0 difference.
After West Noble cut the margin to 3-2 with single markers in the second and third frames, Ashlynn Grubb and Jill Mingus each poked RBI singles in the fifth to restore the hosts to a three-run lead. Grubb then tacked on an RBI single in the seventh.
Grubb allowed four hits, walked two and struckout 10 in picking up her 22nd pitching win of the season.
Kelsie Peterson had two hits for the Lady Chargers.
Fairfield erupted for 13 runs in the second inning to blow open its game with Tippecanoe Valley. D.J. Martz and Alex DeWitt each ripped home runs in the second.
Danica Mast tossed the initial three innings for the Lady Falcons to earn the pitching triumph.
In first-round action Monday, Fairfield blanked Wawasee, 8-0 and Tippecanoe Valley trimmed NorthWood, 9-4.