southtownstar
COPACETIC 
Weather Updates

Softball: First-ever regional title for Lincoln-Way West

Updated: June 27, 2013 7:11AM



It’s been a long time coming for the five seniors on Lincoln-Way West.

They’ve taken a beating at times during their tenure on varsity but Saturday made it worth the while when the Warriors captured their first-ever regional title with a 7-1 win over Marian Catholic.

Senior second baseman Sam MaGruder, a four-year starter, has been there every step of the way.

“Our first few years I didn’t ever picture this happening but we have a lot more experience so we’ve been aiming toward this goal,” MaGruder said.

Next in line will be Tinley Park on Tuesday in a Coal City Sectional semifinal. The Warriors beat Tinley Park 11-0 during the regular season, which coach Heather Novak knows means nothing in the playoffs.

“That doesn’t matter now. It’s just going out there and playing our game,” Novak said.

The Warriors (30-5) had the Spartans (16-17) off their game at the plate and in the field. Junior pitcher Morghan Dieringer (22-2) struck out 11 and allowed two hits. One of them was a bloop RBI double to left in the third by Susie Baranski that scored Natalia Szyller (walk) for the Spartans’ only run.

Meanwhile, the Warriors took advantage of five of six Spartans errors in the first two innings. Two errors in the first and three more in the second aided in a 5-0 lead for the host team. Kaci Krumreich added a two-run double off the fence in the first when pitcher Allison Spence should have been out of the inning.

An illegal pitch call after a groundout to first by Jess Kaemerer wiped out what would have been the second out of the inning with nobody on. Instead, Kaemerer walked and MaGruder followed with what looked like the second out of the inning but the fly ball to right was dropped. Krumreich followed with the two-run shot off the right-field fence.

“I thought Spence pitched the best game she’s pitched all season and we didn’t back her up, which is unfortunate,” Marian Catholic coach Keri Evans said.

Spence (7-10) gave up just four hits and one earned run while striking out five and walking three.

Carlee Wisniewski had the other hit for the Spartans, a hard single to right in the seventh with two outs.

MaGruder scored two runs and reached base all three times — twice on errors while adding a double in the fifth. Carly Souder added an RBI single in the fifth when the Warriors scored two more runs.

Dieringer retired eight in a row at one point.

“My rise and my curve were moving a lot today and when they did get good hits my defense backed me up,” Dieringer said. “We’ve worked so hard in the offseason and we finally got this.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.