MIDDLE POINT - Crestview's Chelsey Lare was dominating.
She just didn't realize she was unhittable.
Lare fired a 5-0 no-hitter to lift Crestview to a victory over Continental in the Division IV softball district semifinals Tuesday at Lincolnview.
Lare struck out 16 and walked two. It was the sophomore's first no-hitter.
Seconds after ending the game with a strikeout, Lare walked calmly to the dugout and shook hands with her teammates.
"I didn't know (I had a no-hitter) until after the game," Lare said. "Our bookkeeper and (assistant) coach Carl (Etzler) came up to me after the game and told me. I had no idea. I just didn't think about it. I just think about one strikeout at a time."
Lare (15-1) continually pounded the strike zone with her overpowering fastball. She also mixed in plenty of change-ups. She struck out the side in the fifth inning, all on change-ups.
"She was smoking the ball (Tuesday)," Crestview coach Ali Sawmiller said. "She was throwing hard. That's one of the best games she's thrown this season. ... As the year has progressed, she's done a nice job of getting ahead of the batters."
Lare threw 110 pitches, 70 for strikes. Of the 25 batters she faced, she had 19 first-pitch strikes.
"My change-up was really working (Tuesday)," Lare said. "I was just relaxed."
Crestview (23-1), ranked No. 1 in the state in Division IV, advances to the district championship game against Riverdale (12-8) at 5 p.m. Thursday at Elida. Continental is 16-6.
Lare worked against a Pirates' lineup that included four .400 hitters. But Lare cruised along, striking out the side in the first, third and fifth innings.
She had a perfect game working until she had two outs in the home sixth. Kyleigh Holtsberry then tapped one out in the front of the plate that Crestview catcher Jess Burger pounced on and threw to first. But first baseman Morgan Hicks dropped the throw for an error, which accounted for the first Pirates' first baserunner.
In the seventh, Lare got the first two out before walking the next two hitters. She then struck out Jessica Hanefeld swinging to end the game.
"She was putting it right on the outside corner," Burger said.
Continental coach Tim Edding said, "We got behind in the count early on her and when she did that, she came back with that phenomenal riseball and really made us pay."
Crestview scored a run in the first to take a 1-0 lead. The Knights added a single run in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings.
Lydia Etzler gave the Knights the only run they would need with an RBI double to center in the first. Kayla Richardson's RBI groundout in the second made it 2-0.
In the fourth, Etzler walked, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and came home on a passed ball.
Melissa Eickholt (1-for-2, two RBIs) hit a solo home run down the right-field line in the seventh to make it 5-0.
Hanefeld, who was hit in the forehead by a line drive last Tuesday, went the distance for the Pirates. She gave up five runs, four earned, on seven hits. She struck out three and walked five.
"She is our workhorse and we're very proud of our girls and Jess," Edding said. "That's a scary, scary thing to come back from."