Softball Insider Notebook: Dynamic duo powering Oak Forest
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org April 9, 2014 11:12PM
Oak Forest is off and running at 7-2, and one of the main reasons is long-ball Bengal bombers Taylor Sterkowitz and Kylie Powers.
Sterkowitz, a sophomore first baseman already has crushed four home runs, including a 225-foot three-run bomb in her first at-bat of the season. Sterkowitz is 14-for-28 (.500) with 21 RBI.
Powers, a junior third baseman, also has provided some explosive offense, with a .414 average that includes two home runs.
Lemont tripped them up in a 6-5 battle on Tuesday, but the Bengals already this season have pulled off a wild 18-17 victory over Richards and a 4-3 decision over Sandburg — both wins coming on walk off hits in the bottom of the seventh.
“It has been an exciting to watch, to say the least,” Oak Forest coach Katy Dammer said. “One thing this team does not do is give up. Our entire lineup 1 through 9 is getting the job done and getting those crucial back-to-back hits in situations to put us in for the wins.
“There are a lot of new faces this season, but a lot of key returners as well. The whole team seems to be vibing extremely well and it shows on and off the field.”
Sophomore Annie Zubek had the game-winning hit in the Richards game, which saw Oak Forest score three times in the seventh. In the Sandburg game, freshman Taylor Ahlgrim put a bunt down the third base line that sent the winning run home.
Her throws aren’t short
It’s a tossup whether Lemont’s Rylie Jay hits or throws the ball harder.
The junior shortstop made first baseman Rachel Uher’s glove pop with a noticeable echo during the Indians’ two games at the Rosemont Dome. Only once did Jay’s rocket toss whiz through her webbing.
“I play catch with my first baseman a lot so they get used to the way my ball curves,” Jay said. “(Uher) is pretty good at knowing where it’s going and how fast it’s going to come. Usually in stickier situations it’s going to come a lot faster. She knows that.
“She’ll say every once in a while, ‘Whoa, that one came in fast.’ But she’s really good at catching the balls.”
Player of the Week
Cayla Brown, of Rich East, is the SouthtownStar Softball Player of the Week.
Brown, a junior pitcher, was 3-0 with 36 strikeouts and a 0.37 ERA. At the plate, she was 6-for-10 with three doubles, five runs and five RBI.