Softball: Chicago Christian ousted by St. Joseph-Ogden
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 28, 2012 8:46PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:58AM
Chicago Christian came into Monday’s Class 2A Seneca Supersectional riding high after capturing the first sectional title in program history.
St. Joseph-Ogden, though, entered on a historical run of its own, and it’s that run that will continue as the Spartans improved to 40-0 with an 11-1 five-inning win over the Knights.
“(St. Joseph) is not too shabby,” Chicago Christian coach Kevin Pittman. “I couldn’t be prouder of our girls. The season they’ve had, it’s been phenomenal. As great of players as they are, they’re better kids. They make me laugh every day. They frustrate me every day. It’s been great.”
Ashley Quinlan had half of the four hits the Knights (26-10) managed, going 2-for-2 with a double and scoring on a Becky DeRuiter single in the fourth. Sam Kubik also singled.
That was all the offense Chicago Christian could mount against hard-throwing Elizabeth Everingham, who struck out nine in five innings.
“Just the speed was tough,” Quinlan said. “We came off facing a team (Noble Street Charter) that lobbed it over. We haven’t seen a lot of pitchers with that kind of speed.
“We had a lot of fun this year. It was great just to come together and play.”
St. Joseph, which advanced to Friday’s state semifinals in Peoria, scored two runs in each of the first two innings and added a single run in the third.
Leading 5-1 in the fifth, the Spartans made it a short day by putting up six runs in the frame, an RBI single from Stephanie Canfield ending the game.
Samantha Fleming and Mady Poulter had two RBI each for St. Joseph, which mixed power hitting with proficient bunting to frustrate the Knights.
“You try to shut down one aspect of their game and then they slap and run you to death,” Pittman said. “You shut that down a bit and they long ball you to death.”
Still, it was a memorable first year as a softball coach for Pittman, who also coaches boys basketball at Chicago Christian.
“I think some of the freshman parents were like ‘Who is this guy?’ ” Pittman said. “The first couple of weeks were definitely a feeling-out process. But the girls were great. I’m just happy I got to be a part of it.”