Softball: Lockport powers past Lincoln-Way Central for SouthWest Suburban Blue title
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 14, 2013 10:14PM
Lockport's Gabby Voulgaris is met at home after hitting a home run against Lincoln-Way Central. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 16, 2013 6:33AM
Courtesy of a loss last week to Homewood-Flossmoor, Lockport got a wake-up call: No one would be handing the Porters the SouthWest Suburban Blue title.
“We talked (Monday) at practice about taking it one game at a time, one pitch at a time,” Lockport’s Emma Carter said. “One everything at a time because you can take things for granted. We need to slow down and focus.”
With an 8-3 win Tuesday at Lincoln-Way Central and some help from a conference foe, Lockport clinched the SouthWest Suburban Blue title.
Lincoln-Way East fell to Sandburg 9-7 in extra innings late Tuesday, giving the Porters the outright title, their first since the 2009 season. Lockport earned a share of the title last season.
The offense was clicking on all cylinders Tuesday for a Porters offense that racked up 12 hits, including three home runs. Lockport scored two runs in each the second and third innings, one in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Haylie Arndt’s RBI single started things off in the second, with Ashley London later scoring from third when Arndt got caught in a rundown.
“We work as a team,” Carter said. “If a runner is on first, we want to sacrifice her over. We play for the team and for the runs.”
Small-balling their way to a 2-0 lead, the Porters turned to the longball. Gabby Voulgaris smashed a line-drive two-run homer in the third, and pinch-hitter Sara Hillebold and Arndt going back-to-back in the top of the fifth.
Voulgaris’ homer barely cleared the fence in left-center.
“Our hitters have really been showing their stuff,” Voulgaris said. “I thought mine was too much on a line, but the wind was in my favor.”
Carly Dundee (11-4) earned the win for Lockport (20-12, 11-2), giving up five hits and striking out three. Carter finished 2-for-3 with two runs for the Porters.
Naidelyn Medina smashed a two-run homer for Lincoln-Way Central (11-14, 5-8), with Ashley Evans adding an RBI single.
“Win or lose, we need to see growth in these last five games,” Knights coach Jeff Tarala said. “We lose focus sometimes with one or two good innings, then a bad one. We need to get better at that.”