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Softball: Lincoln-Way West overpowers Sandburg

Rachel Andrade Lincoln-Way West crosses home plate after her solo home run against Sandburg Sandburg Thursday April 10th 2014 OrlPark.

Rachel Andrade, of Lincoln-Way West, crosses home plate after her solo home run against Sandburg at Sandburg, Thursday, April 10th, 2014 in Orland Park. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 12, 2014 6:35AM



Rachel Andrade had her moments for Lincoln-Way West in 2013, but none of them involved circling the bases after a home run.

Things have changed. Big time.

Through eight games Andrade has four fence-clearing blasts for the Warriors. Two them came in prodigious fashion Thursday during West’s 6-0 SouthWest Suburban crossover victory at Sandburg.

“Last year was a tough year for me,” Andrade said. “I don’t think that it was that I never had it, it was more of a mental thing for me. I would let the pitchers get in my head more.

“During the offseason I was mentally preparing myself to know that I’m a good hitter and to go up there with confidence.”

Andrade’s two home runs were good for four RBI. Amanda Ruskowski followed Andrade’s lead with a solo shot, while Dani Morgan was 3-for-3 and Rachel Luckett 2-for-3 for West (8-0).

Sarah Herold had the only two hits of the day for Sandburg (6-3).

Warriors ace Morghan Dieringer (6-0) got all of the support she needed in the top of the first when Morgan singled, moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Carly Souder and came in on a Luckett base hit.

The day only got tougher for Sandburg ace Herold. Andrade made it 2-0 with a one-out home run in the top of the second. The Warriors knocked the talented left-hander out in the third when with one out Ruskowski homered, Luckett and Anna Ryan walked and Andrade sent a 2-and-2 pitch soaring over the fence in left.

Dieringer, meanwhile, pitched out of a second-and-third, two-out jam in the first and a two-on, none-out situation in the seventh, but otherwise cruised. The right-hander finished with nine strikeouts.

“It makes me feel confident that my team is there backing me and putting runs on the board,” Dieringer said. “I wouldn’t say it’s easier, but it’s more comforting.”

Sandburg coach Jim Fabianski took comfort in a superlative relief pitching effort by Caroline Kuzel (4 strikeouts, no runs allowed) and the resilience at the plate by Herold.

“You know what? It’s the eighth game of season. I’m not looking at (the loss),” he said. “What I’m happy about is that Caroline shut them out for four innings. Knowing that we can get that kind of help from Caroline, that’s awesome.

“And the other thing is that, yeah, Sarah got beat up a little bit. But she got two hits, too. She didn’t let it bother her at the plate. I’m very happy with that.”



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