Softball: Marist, Providence a step away from state
By Tony Baranek email@example.com June 3, 2012 6:12PM
Kristin Klutcharch and her Marist teammates will meet Trinity on Monday in a Class 4A supersectional. | Paul James Bergstrom ~ For Sun-Times Media
(All games Monday)
Geneseo vs. Providence,
At Belvidere North
Sterling vs. Marengo, 4:30 p.m.
At Elgin (Judson University)
Elmwood Park vs. Glenbard South, 4:30 p.m.
Mattoon vs. Normal Community West, 5 p.m.
At Rosemont Stadium
Marist vs. Trinity, 6:30 p.m.
At DeKalb (NIU)
Plainfield Central vs. Moline, 5 p.m.
At Elgin (Judson University)
Elk Grove vs. Jacobs, 6:30 p.m.
At Rosemont Stadium
Barlett vs. Maine West,
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:07AM
While claiming a pair of dramatic come-from-behind victories at the Class 4A Sandburg Sectional, Marist looked every bit a team that’s been there and done that with the late-inning heroics.
The fact is, as late as May 11 the RedHawks were a 15-15 team struggling to find its identity.
Or were they just hiding something?
“I think they were saving it,” Marist coach Denise Bromberek said with a grin after a seventh-inning two-out single by Haly Richy gave the RedHawks a 4-3 victory Saturday over Mother McAuley and a spot in Monday’s Rosemont Supersectional against Trinity.
There’s no hiding this: When Marist and Trinity met on March 29, Marist rolled by an 8-2 margin as Nicole Babrowski went 3-for-4, Brooke Wyderski smacked a home run and had three RBI, Brooke Wilson and Katie Caulfield had two RBI each and Kristin Klutcharch tossed a four-hitter, striking out eight.
“Honestly, that was the first game of the season where the girls literally worked together as a team,” Bromberek said. “Everyone contributed to the win and it was awesome. It was our best game of the regular season. But Trinity is a fundamentally sound team, a good team.”
In other words, she isn’t counting chickens.
Trinity is led by Michigan-bound shortstop Abby Ramirez, who went 4-for-5 and had an RBI double and a bases-loaded single that put the Blazers (30-7) in front for good in a 12-6 win over Leyden in the Trinity Sectional final. Nicole Evans is another major offensive threat on a power-hitting team that produces up and down the lineup. Junior pitcher Chase Machain has a 24-6 record.
The RedHawks (24-15), in search of the program’s first trip to the state finals in East Peoria, haven’t lost since a 3-1 decision to Lockport on May 10. In both sectional victories they rallied late.
Friday, against Sandburg, they saw a 3-0 lead melt to a 5-3 deficit, only to have Wyderski slam a game-tying two-run homer and Maggie Gorman hit a walkoff RBI single. Saturday, they saw McAuley come from behind to tie the game at 3-all in the sixth, but prevailed 4-3 behind Richy’s squib single.
Where was this during a 9-9 East Suburban Catholic Conference season?
“People just got more confidence,” Klutcharch said. “We practiced a lot, and our coaches had confidence in us. We just started hitting better.”
Klutcharch (16-11), while far from overpowering, had both Sandburg and McAuley swinging early in the count and not making a lot of good contact. She is on a six-game personal winning streak.
“She does a great job of hitting her spots,” Bromberek said. “Granted, she has her moments like any pitcher would, but she bounces back. Like when she gave up the home run in the sixth (against McAuley) and she fired back. There were no outs, and we got three up and three down after that. Her offense is backing her up, too, so that definitely helps a lot.
“The team chemistry right now is untouchable. They definitely want it more. I mean, the energy is just contagious.”
Providence (27-12) is to play Geneseo in the Class 3A Seneca Supersectional.
The Celtics, competing in the program’s first supersectional, almost let Saturday’s sectional final against Oak Forest get away as the Bengals scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 4-4.
Sarah Brightmore, however, emerged as a hero for Providence with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, tapping a ball to the right side of the field for a base hit that plated Jessica Jatis. The Celtics had eight hits on the day, two each by Amanda Wilson, Allie Strick and Brightmore.
“It feels pretty good,” Providence coach Jay Biesterfeld said. “Our goal is still to win state, but getting a sectional title, at the moment we feel pretty good about it. Hopefully we can come out and play well on Monday.”
Geneseo (28-10) has made the comeback part of its team makeup. During the Maple Leafs’ playoff run, it’s happened in every game.
In the regional opener, catcher Haley Cathcart drove a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to erase a 3-2 deficit against Rock Island. They trailed United Township 6-0 in the regional title game, but Olivia Goethals went 3-for-4 and Geneseo rallied for a 9-7 win. A five-run fifth erased a 1-0 deficit against Bartonville Limestone in the sectional semifinal. The most dramatic comeback occurred Saturday when Kassi Anderson stroked a double to cap a two-run seventh that lifted the Maple Leafs past Metamora 5-4.
“We’re going to worry about doing what we do,” Biesterfeld said. “We expect our pitchers (Wilson and Strick) to pitch well. Defensively we need to be solid. Hopefully we can go out and score five or six runs.
“If we play our game, I think we’ll be fine.”