Softball: Lockport, Lincoln-Way East fit to be tied
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org May 21, 2012 9:18PM
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:23AM
Oak Forest needed a little drama.
Lincoln-Way East and Lockport, a lot of mettle.
Richards? No drama there.
In the end, there were few changes at the top from a year ago as 2012 conference champions were crowned.
The most thrilling league finale took place Thursday at Oak Forest, where the Bengals rebounded from one game back and a 1-0 deficit behind the pitching of Emily Larsen to beat Lemont 4-2 to secure a slice of the South Suburban Blue title.
The two teams finished in a tie at the top at 16-3. Oak Forest defeated Lemont in both regular-season outings. Tinley Park, which sprung a 12-5 surprise on Oak Forest on May 10, finished third at 15-4.
Richards, meanwhile, ran away with the South Suburban Red title, running the table at 19-0 for the second year in a row. Evergreen Park, which scored its biggest win with a 2-1 crossover decision March 27 over Oak Forest, finished second at 13-6.
The SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue race took its first dramatic turn May 2 when Lincoln-Way East, trailing Lockport by one game, rode a solo home run by Alexis Huss and a double by Sam Stewart to beat the Porters 3-1 to climb into a tie for first.
From there, the two teams rode side by side at the top, with East winning its finale in a 7-6 thriller vs. Joliet West in which Kacyee Hart delivered a game-winning RBI in the bottom of the seventh. East and Lockport finished at 13-1, with Sandburg, Homewood-Flossmoor and Bolingbrook tied for third at 7-7.
Andrew repeated as the SouthWest Suburban Red champ, improving on last season’s 13-1 mark by going unbeaten at 14-0. The Thunderbolts’ final week was highlighted by an 11-10 victory over Lincoln-Way North in which Katie Christner hit two homers. North and Lincoln-Way West tied for second at 11-3.
The Southland Athletic Conference title chase came down to a May 10 showdown between Crete-Monee and Kankakee. Crete-Monee, which had beaten the Kays in the teams’ previous two meetings, fell short in a 9-3 decision that left the Warriors (12-3) one game behind.
Marian Catholic entered the week with not only a mathematical chance to catch Benet, but also a doubleheader Saturday against the Redwings to make up the two-game deficit. Losses Tuesday to Marist and Wednesday to Providence, however, ended the Spartans’ dreams. Benet reigned as the league titlist at 16-2, followed by Bishop McNamara (14-4) and Providence (13-5). Marian was fourth at 11-7.