Softball: Lincoln-Way North holds off Lincoln-Way Central
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 21, 2013 9:32PM
Lincoln-Way Central's Hannah Hosty slides into third as Lincoln-Way North third baseman Anne Allen applies the tag. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 23, 2013 6:33AM
It wasn’t the hardest-hit ball, but Lincoln-Way North’s Kayla O’Brien certainly could defend her effort.
The senior was just protecting herself facing an 0-and-2 count.
“With that count, whatever pitch comes, take it and go,” O’Brien said.
She got her pitch and went with it, O’Brien’s bloop two-run single in the third putting host Lincoln-Way North up for good in a 4-3 win over Lincoln-Way Central in a 4A regional semifinal.
O’Brien stepped up to the plate in the third under odd circumstances. In a 2-2 game, the Phoenix (19-9) had already seen two runners gunned down at home in the inning on heads up plays from Central.
But with runners on second and third, O’Brien capitalized. Her bloop single fell in shallow center, allowing courtesy runner Sarah Berger (2 runs) and Sam Pietruszynski to score.
“When I went up there, I was just trying to put it in play, hit it hard,” O’Brien said. “Do whatever you can to score those two runs.”
North managed eight hits Tuesday, four of them doubles. The Phoenix will hope to continue their power surge Saturday against Providence in the regional title game.
“As a senior now, it’s do or die, and this our last shot,” North’s Jill Galich said. “We’ve been working hard because (as a team), we’ve struggled with those outside pitches. It was a team effort, and everyone came through (Tuesday)”
Galich finished 2-for-3 with a double.
Central (11-18) managed one last scare as Ashley Evans ripped a leadoff home run in the top of the seventh to draw the Knights to within 4-3. North starter Anna Wheatley recovered, retiring the next three batters to end the game.
“Maybe it’s a timely hit we didn’t get or a play in the field we didn’t make,” Central coach Jeff Tarala said. “A game like this, you can flip a coin. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. Sometimes that’s how it works.”
Naidelyn Medina had a solo homer for Central. Hannah Hosty was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Jenna Trojniar added an RBI for North.
Providence 11, Bloom 1: Maeve Garvey (3-for-3, 4 runs, 2 RBI) and Amanda Wilson (3-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 doubles) led Providence (24-8) in the semifinal. Wilson (3 IP, 3 strikeouts) and Kendal Judge (2 IP, 6 strikeouts) combined to throw a two-hitter. Tiffany Evancho had a solo homer for Bloom (15-11).